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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  November 10, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PST

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see you guys next week. here's alex. >> whoa, way too fast. we have no time to go back and forth. okay. i will take it. bye. >> love you. >> love you, too. >> okay. everyone, good day from msnbc headquarters and high noon here in the east and 9:00 a.m. in the west. welcome the "weekends with alex witt" and the impeachment inquiry preview, and what is going to happen this week. putting the acts of the president on full display. and the sunday talk shows and both parties are drawing the
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stark battle lines accusing and defending the white house. >> this is a very simple straight forward act. the president broke the law. >> so i think that whatever happens now, there will be taint to this one-sided impartisan approach to impeachment. >> shock reaction that some believe that president trump is not going to be on the ballot in 2020 and the reasons why. and crashing the party, michael bloomberg may bring the wallet to the 2020 contest, and it is rubbing some contenders the wrong way. this hour, dramatic and stark divisions over the impending new hearings on the impeachment inquiry and day 48 of the investigation into this president. in just about 72 hours, the probe enters a new phase, and the first public testimony and a spectacle expected to be watched closely by millions as well as the white house. this morning an early glimpse from both sides.
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>> they could care a less about getting to the truth. i consider any impeachment in the house that does not allow us to know who the whistle-blower is to be invalid because without the whistle-blower complaint, we would not talk about anyf this. >> this is a simple and straight forward act. the president broke the law. he went on a telephone call with the president of ukraine, and said i have a favor though, and then proceeded to ask for an investigation of his rival. >> republicans and democratss are going back and forth with the specific attacks and highlighting the issues to make their case on whether the president deserves the ultimate legislative punishment. >> and i don't think that they are going to judge fairness when they are accusing president trump of the same thing that joe biden did threatening the aid if some corruption is not investigated. >> the president of the united
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states demanding, extorting a country to do his political bidding to gof a his opponent has nothing to do with joe biden executing the foreign policy of the united states or hillary clinton who is a private citizen. >> and also new today, congressman john yarmouth suggesting that the president may not be on the ballot for one reason or another and you will hear that in minutes. and finally after weeks of testimony behind closed doors you will be hearing the stories in public starting wednesday with bill taylor and george kent and former ambassador the ukraine marie yovanovitch is set to speak friday. new reaction from the white house and the president's allies on the imminent open hearings, and we have more on that from hans nichols at the white house -- and oh, no, you are not at the white house, but at the trump tower and i get it because the president, okay. so what is the white house saying even though you are at trump tower. >> and the president is back from the football game here at trump tower and you are hearing
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a couple of arguments and from the president himself, he is questioning the integrity of marie yovanovitch and last night he questioned whether or not or suggested that she p ten shal-- potentially was a liar and trying to get to the integrity and at the white house they are insisting that he has a right to hear from the whistle-blower who started this all off. in general the president is also trying to do a little bit of the offense and he is claiming that he is going to release the testimony of the initial call with president zelensky in april saying that it is going to be exculpatory, and he has set the clock for that on himself and saying that he will do it on tuesday, and said monday, but because of the holiday, he will do it tuesday and that smernlging along tsmernlg i -- is emerging from two lines of defense from the white house. this is simply not fair and you have heard all morning on the talk shows and as to the substance, the white house wants
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to retreat the idea that the only thing that the entire discussion should be about is what is in the transcript or the call log, either the first call or the second. everything else they say is hearsay and secondary information, and that what they appear to be treating to. alex. >> i am curious, do you know where the president is going to be on wednesday in the open hearings whether he is going to be listening to them? do you know? >> he is scheduled to be at the white house wednesday when the hearings start, and that is also the day of the scheduled visit from the president of turkey, president erdogan who will be there and the press conference of the two and two, and two questions for the turkish side and two questions for american side, and we will see to what extent that is overlapping of what is happening at capitol hill, but it could be a day of remarkabtweets. i expect a few. thank you, hans nichols. >> potentially. >> and joining us is liz goodwin of the "boston globe," and charlie savidge from the
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washington post and legal contribute for msnbc. and so, charlie, you first, the new phase of the impeachment inquiry, and what do you think? >> well, i am interested in the whole pushback that is not just the white house, but the trump allies and we saw a letter from devin nunez demanding testimony from nelly orr and others and so lindsey graham says if you don't put that in there, it is a sham. so we won't have peaceful testimony on wednesday and friday as the public hearings start. i expect the republicans will do everything they can to turn it tone into a circus, and rancor, and it is going to be a turbulent ride going forward. >> charlie, six on the record confirmations of the quid pro
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quo, and so how is this going to be playing out on television and the people can hear for themselves those on the witness stand say it? >> well, yo will have the competing storylines, and you will have this wasn't an extortion slash solicitation of the bribe which is what we mean when we say quid pro quo or we are going to say that it was a request for one thing in exchange for another, and that is perfectly fine or actually all of these piled on top of each other, this and the process argument, and where is nelly orr and why aren't we hearing from hunter biden, and the bidens are corrupt, and you know, the whole panoply of suggestions there. >> i love the picture you painted with the words. let's listen to congressman jim himes and whether we will hear
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something new. >> there is going to be new information and i suspect that the public has not read the released transcripts and what they are going to hear is hear immensely patriotic and beautifully articulate people telling the story of a president who, for get the quid pro quo, because that is one of the things to muddy the works who extorted a vulnerable country by holding up the military aid and so, yes, they will hear something new. >> liz, is this come down the hearing something new or for those who have not read the transcripts which is the majority of people in the country, they will hear that which is in the transcripts verbally. >> yes, the democrats have yet to tell the story very clearly to the american people. it is very complicated story, and there a lot of twists and turns and as charlie says a lot of dust kicked up about bringing this up in the flat out
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conspiracy theories and the server was in ukraine, and yada, yada, yada, and so if you are tuning in as a casual, you know, american news consumer, you are probably going to be a little bit confused at this point, and this is democrats' opportunity to tell the story clearly in these hearings. >> and do you think that it is mostly about the people who are involved? they are the ones who are going to get a chance to tell the story, and we hear for themselves, and from themselves, right? is that what it is all about? >> yeah, i think that obviously, some witnesses would be more powerful than others, and because there is, you know, a sense of the someone has a partisan motivations, they might be questioned more, and republicans will have better luck kicking up the dust around what they say, and if you have someone like bill taylor who served in every administration since 1985, just hearing him say what happened and what his concerns are, it is going to be hard to paint him as part san, and even though i am sure that there is attempts.
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that is going to be pretty powerful. and, so charlie, something else that struck me from himz whes w he said let's not use quid pro quo and when you were using it, you gave a definition of what it was, but himes wants to use bribery, extortion and is that something that the democrats should have been doing in the beginning and how effective to change the verbiage? >> well, i don't know if it is a change. i am not sure where quid pro quo first entered the lexicon here. but speaking in plain english what we are talking about is either extortion or the solicitation of the bribe. that is the allegation. quid pro quo is just a fancier way of saying that, and maybe people need to speak more directly. >> okay. liz, the democrats want to wrap up this impeachment inquiry and they want to vote by christmas so they have said, but this is the republican congressman will herd had to say about that. >> they are trying to have this
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completed be i the end of the year, and i think that we only have 16 or 17 legislative days left in the year. half of those days are what is called the fly in/fly out days and people are coming in from their locations. so to try to get that, and try to pass nafta and to fund the government and do all of that in the short period of time, i think that is next to impossible. >> liz, does he have a point there, and is that unrealistic for the democrats to think that they have it wrapped up for a vote by the end of the year? >> the looming government shutdown is certainly concerning with the time line, but from everything that i have heard, speaker pelosi is determined to have this vote before christmas, because she wants to turn the page, and have the democrats show that they are focused on the substantive issues in addition to investigating the president. so i think that, i think that it does propose a challenge, but the speaker is determined to get it done. >> and charlie, any concern from the democrats that as get into the busyness of the holidays
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that blends the public's contentiousness with it, and the three scheduled to testify is a big blow and a good start? >> hmm. well, i don't know about the pr optics of people focused on buying presents or hosting the families i suppose, but there is always a distraction in the world. and the thing about trump, he is very good whether he wants the be or not in this case at dominating everything. and being the center of everything, and what you think about when you go to bed and wake up in the morning. so this is something to cut through the noise. >> and i wanted to look at something that john yarmouth had to say earlier on msnbc. take a listen. >> there is a reasonable chance that donald trump would not be on the ballot. >> why wouldn't trump be on the ballot in kentucky in 2020? >> well, there is a reasonable chance that he will either be removed from office in the
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senate or he is going to be facing an embarrassing defeat at the polls next year and decide not the run. >> is that plausible, liz, that he is going to suffer a embarrassing defeat at the polls and decides not run? >> there were rumors about this in the democratic circles that trump would pull out, and it feels like this is a fantasy that the democrats have sometimes and it does not strike me as consistent with his behavior so far, so i don't know. i don't see it as likely. >> okay. charlie, yarmouth talked about three likely articles of impeachment, and we should remind the viewers that it is only one to impeach the president, but it is obstruction of congress, abuse of power and bribery, and are those the three that they are going to be focusing on and will they go to three by the way? >> that is interesting. the three that i had heard were obstruction of congress, and that not letting people testify and providing documents and obstruction of justice which is trying to derail the mueller investigation and all of the stuff in volume two of the
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report and abuse of power which is the same thing as bribery here. so maybe a little bit of the garble in transmission there. of the three, the obstruction of justice, mueller one, which seems to be the most on the fence of, and obstruction of congress and abuse of power and bribery is the central ones arising from the ukraine scandal. >> liz goodwin and charlie savage, thank you, both. in a moment, why mayor pete is evoking ivanka trump in defense of one of his 2020 candidates. and then the gop drawing reactions of disbelief among the critics. ics. ♪ unstopables in-wash scent booster ♪ downy unstopables
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now to 2020 candidates busy out there on the campaign trail today as we count down to the iowa caucuses next february. pete buttigieg in new hampshire and julio castro and cory booker and kamala harris is on the campaign trail talking about the elephant in the room as kamala harris talks about the race. >> the conversation is something like this. i don't know if america is ready for a woman of color to have this position. i'm ready, but i don't know if my neighbors are ready. that is how the conversation goes. here's the thing, i then share with people the fact that this has come up in every campaign that i have won to make a big point not about me, but who the american people are. >> senator amy klobuchar
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clarifying comments that she made previously about pete buttigieg and his requirements to be president. >> of the women on the stage, i'm focusing here on my fellow women senators of senator harris, senator warren and myself, and do i think that we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that he had? no, i don't. maybe we are held to a different standard. >> mayor pete is on the third day of his four-day bus tour in new hampshire, and that is where we find nbc's josh ledman in the town of clairmont, and with a welcome from clairmont, new hampshire, josh, what is the latest there? >> hey, alex. yes, we have been riding the bus with pete buttigieg, and talking about the issues that harris and klobuchar have been raising and pete buttigieg saying that each of those things, being white, a male, and having gone to elite private schools does give him privilege, but not going as far to say that it gives him an unfair advantage in the race. we have also been talking with
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pete buttigieg here in new hampshire about the new push of the house republicans to get hunter biden to testify in the impeachment hearings next week, and this what pete buttigieg had to say in defense of hunter biden. >> that is just politics. i mean, there is nobody who has even presented a threat of meaningful evidence of any alleged wrongdoing. the reason that we have impeachment process going on is because there have been very clear patterns of wrongdoing that need to be investigated and understood. when they say something like that, it is just for politics. certainly when you look at what is going on in the white house, i would not have an equivalency of that and what is going on in terms of the attacks on the biden family for example. and certainly it is a concern when ivanka's been with the trump's business interests in china negotiated while there is
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a lot of china policy on the front burner of the white house. >> so, alex, you will hear pete buttigieg there not only attacking the president's daughter ivanka, but defending the son of his 2020 rival joe biden, and he is not the only one. amy klobuchar also saying that she sees no reason that hunter biden should have to testify. >> yeah. i have to tell you that pete buttigieg is resurrecting comments at the time that were raised when ivanka was negotiating for her clothing time. and now, a new firestorm is arousing over the public impeermt stai impeachment in the house and whether they will be capable of serving as impartial jurors if and when the impeachment reaches the senate. >> one of the traditions of finding justice is that the defense should present the witnesses and if you cannot call hunter biden and the whistle-blower, it is a sham.
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>> nif they don't call the whistle-blower in the house, this thing is dead on arrival in the senate. >> i look at people like lindsey graham, and i say, could he survive a jury questioning in a trial, and certainly not. >> and so, now, joining us in the ways and means and budget committees, welcome back to the broadcast. you heard that comment right there by john yarmouth, and what are the thoughts of what he said? >> well, for various reasons the founding fathers gave us this political system of impeachment in the house, and trial in the senate as opposed to criminal process, so there are many ways of which it is analogous to the criminal procedure, but there are ways in which it is different, and in no criminal proceeding would you have 100 elected officials to face as the jury for various reasons that our founders here in the hometown of philadelphia gave us this system. it already has been proven to
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work by the way a couple of times that we have had trials in the senate and in the 1860s with president andrew johnson and then with the 1990s with president clinton, and so that is the constitutional system. it is not really up to us to change it, and to instead move forward if the facts merit and warrant impeachment, and i have been clear for quite stim, and it is fairly obvious that they do. >> senator graham's statement that if the whistle-blower is not called this thing is doa and what do you make of that, because what it does is to essentially violates the whistle-blower act by revealing the identity and haven't we gone by the need of the whistle-blower in the first place and so many krcorroborati accounts for which the whistle-blower was alarmed about that we need to talk to him or her. >> and the first reaction is that senator lindsey graham of 2019 would pay attention of
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lindsey graham of 2016 and before that when he was more acting as the buddy of senator john mccain as opposed to the incarnation where he is the strongest defender of president trump. it is a sad decline for one of my senatorial colleagues, and now, in terms of the main point, why do we need the whistle-blower to come forward and this is exactly right. it has already been validated by the transcript, the rough transcript that the white house released itself and also validated by no less than six different witnesses. so at this point, the whistle-blower is fairly moot. the evidence is pretty clear both based on what the white house has released and what six witnesses who were on the telephone call or who were a part of the months that led up to the telephone call when president trump and his personal lawyer rudy giuliani were attempting to extort and bribe the ukrainian government to get
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involved in essentially the 2020 presidential election in the united states. >> when these witnesses testify in public, what is going to be the most powerful thing, and what is going to resonate the most with viewers? >> well, what i have really been struck is the quality and the caliber of the people who have had to step forward here, and they have not wanted to necessarily do so, and they are not people who have looked fourth the limelight, but they are willing, ready and able to do the right thing, and people like ambassador bill taylor and someone with whom i have worked for the previous four years at the u.s. institute of peace, and someone who is a career public servant who had actually retired and working at the institute of peace before he was called back into the government service. people like those who were in the senior ranks of our military at the national security council, and again, did not want to find themselves suddenly in the limelight, one fr but nonet
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they are fulfilling the duty to the constitution and the country to simply tell the truth. i think that hearing in their own words what they witnessed and what they heard i think that is going to have a powerful impact. >> there is a new morning consult poll out there, and has impeachment at 47%, but that number is slowly ticking downward since picking at 51% nearly a month ago in mid-october, and do you think that the democrats waited too long to launch these hearings, or do you think that the public sentiment will build now that the public hearing phase begins? >> well, i think that most of the polls that i have seen have seen the support of impeachment in the low 50s. before this whole episode it was in the mid- to high 30s for impeachment. so the bulk of the public very quickly got the fact that we are in an entirely different situation nowadays. when you compare this process to say the 1990s or the early 1970
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with president nixon, actually this has moved quite a bit more quickly than those previous processes, and the reality is that there are a lot of witnesses that you have to get testimony from, so i think that we democrats are moving as expeditiously and fairly as possible, and now that we've turned, you know, before the republicans were attacking our process, and even though it is the process that they described or outlined, they were attacking it saying that it is behind closed doors and now we are moving to public hearings, and of course, they are claiming something else, and making up another excuse. the reality is that my republican friends want to focus on the process and to distract us from the utterly criminal behavior of this president. >> congressman brendan boyle, thank you for weighing in. >> thank you. and now, the impeachment defense and how the republicans are moving the goalpost to explain what happened with ukraine. ukraine. ♪ (dramatic orchestra)
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time, and all of this ahead of the first impeachment hearings this week. take a listen. >> it is a group of legislators and the bottom line here, hall hallie, in the transcript, no quid pro quo, and the overall tone of the transcript is that it is mutually laudatory. >> and you can make your own decision, but from the quid pro quo aspect of the phone call, there is nothing there. >> if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly was not an effective one. >> there are perfectly appropriate quid pro quos and there are inappropriate quid pro quos. >> i am not going the read these tran scripts, and the whole process is a joke. what i can tell you about the trump policy toward ukraine is that it is incoherent, and depends who you talk to. they are incapable of forming a quid pro quo. >> i trust president zelensky and president trump and that they did not say that the aid
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had been withheld and it had been released. >> it is getting easier to defend the president. >> this is ahead of the list of witnesses that the republicans want to have including hunter biden and others. and now, joining us from washington, ladies, with a welcome to you. leeann, first here, because you had this interaction with representative mark meadows this week. let's play that for the viewers. >> the republicans continue to hang everything on ambassador volker, and we have mark med dose here, and congressman meadows, can we -- so he is walking by right now, and the republicans are struggling. >> i am not struggling on anything. and the republicans are not struggling on anything. >> uh-huh. well, how has the gop response made the testimonies of the transcripts public? >> they are trying to maintain that there is no quid pro quo, and the question to mark meadows is the fact that testimony after
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testimony has said that there actually was in fact this quid pro quo, and the fact that the president was hanging $400 million of the military aid to the ukrainian until there was information on the political rival the bidens and so what they are continuing to do is to hanging the entire argument of the testimony of ambassador volker, who is the one person who says in fact there is no quid pro quo, and something that he didn't know about and saying that the president says that there is no quid pro quo, and neither did the president zelensky either. so, as this is progressing it is becoming more difficult for them to maintain that argument, and also talking a lot about the process in calling this a sham investigation done behind closed doors. so now that this is moving into the public phase of this investigation, impeachment inquire i are, they are also having to recalibrate that as well. so as we should expect moving forward, they are really going to try to legitimize the
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investigation into the attempted investigation into the bidens and that is apparent based on the witnesses that they tried to call moving forward. >> speaking of that, and natasha, let's take a listen to lindsey graham earlier on fox news to talk about the gop calls to get the whistle-blower to testify. >> it is impossible to bring this case forward in my view fairly without us knowing who the whistle-blower is and having a chance to cross-examine themi so if they do not call it in the house, this thing is dead on arrival in the senate. >> is that going to happen, and what are the chances that the whistle-blower is going to be testifying? >> zero. adam schiff has said that they have no interest in calling the whistle-blower to testify, because they don't want to put his life in danger. someone who the far right thought was the whistle-blower last week started to get death threats and turns out it was not him, but it is just an example of what the whistle-blower would risk by going and testifying and
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even behind the closed doors, his or her identity would likely leak instantaneously, and this is something that the republicans are doing to make a point so that when the democrats turn around to say, no, that is not happening, and not only is the whistle-blower's identity at risk, but the testimony is the also irrelevant at this point. the republicans can then turn around and say, look, what are they are trying to cover-up or hide something. the idea of the quid pro quo is becoming less and less relevant, because what you have democrats focusing on now with these three narrow questions they are hoping to hone in on the public proceedings really have to do with did the president abuse the power of his office and use his presidency essentially to bully the ukrainians into investigating a u.s. citizen, and that is what lieutenant colonel vindman testified to last week or a couple of weeks ago that said was so disturbing to him. regardless of whether the ukrainians knew that the
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military aid was being withheld which we know now that they did, the fact that the president of the united states is asking a foreign country to investigate u.s. citizens without any formal process and without mlat for example is completely inappropriate and what alarmed him the most. >> and also, natasha, fiona hill's testimony said that it is a fiction that the ukrainian government was launching an effort to upend the election and upend the election to mess with the democratic systems, and how are the testimonies contradicting trump's defenders and what they are saying? >> yes, so there was a big theme to come out of the depositions that were released on friday of vindman and fiona hill which is that they said that there was no evidence to suggest that the ukrainian government interfered in any way like the russian government did in 2016. and that is obviously pushing back the conspiracy theory on the right, and among thump's defenders that ukraine
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essentially interfered as did the russians and what fiona is saying there is by focusing on the kind of to conspiracy theory of the ukrainian's theory, we are giving the russians a free pass to do it again in 2020. what the republicans are focusing on and as we saw in the impeachment wish list for the public hearings this week is that they want to continue to focus on, you know, what the ukrainians may have done in 2016 with folks like alexander cha lieu pa who is a dnc worker who went to the embassy, but one thing she said strikingly is why are you focusing so much on whether the dirt is spread about paul manafort, because the former ambassador to ukraine is also an american citizen and why aren't you concerned about the smear against her. >> okay. we will have future questions for both of you. thank you. and now, for one centrist republican could determine whether republican trump needs
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(vo) the three-row subaru ascent. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. a new report in "the new york times" is shining a light in the republicans' new impeachment strategy and it includes the party's set to make arguments including concerns that hunter biden were legitimate and already identifying the whistle-blower. >> it is impossible to bring
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this case forward in my view fairly without us knowing who the whistle-blower is and having a chance to cross-examine them about any biases they may have. it is for us to find out who the whistle-blower is, and no american can be accused of a crime based on an anonymous allegation. >> if there is not really anything that the president said in the phone call that is different than he says in public all of the time. so is there some sort of abuse of power that rises to the threshold that is different than the american people have been hearing for three years? i don't this -- i don't hear that. >> and now joining us is robert barnes and cynthia oxford. and so, with the commentings, does it matter if the president makes the comments in public and the second point that no american can be accused of a crime based on the anonymous allegation, and weigh in on those? >> well, it has been a while
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since lindsey graham tried a case, but what happens in criminal investigations is that there are tip, and then you do the investigation and you don't put the tip in, but the hard core evidence and the investigation. when i am looking at the republican defense, what i am seeing glaring at me is not who they want on the witness list, but who is afraid to be on the witness list and who is not on there, and the actual fact witnesses. so, for example, when this first came out, and not only do we have the president basically admitting to the conspiracy and the crime in the phone conversation, but his big defense was, sondland, and guess who is not on the republican list, sondland and you know why? because first he went in and lied to the protect the president, and then he realized that is not going well for me and i don't want to be in trouble for perjury or false statements to anybody, so he changed and he is still lying about a lot of other thing, and so he a problematic witness for trump, and this is why he is not on there. >> interesting. >> the other person not on there
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is giuliani, and he is the guy that trump put in charge of the whole boondoggle, and the whole conspiracy to shakedown the ukrainian, and he is not on there, and so if they are so interested in not having hearsay evidence, they would put in the two people they put in charge of their conspiracy. and they are not doing it, because they don't want the truth to come out. >> good point. i am going to ask robert a question in a moment, but first, i did want to ask you, congressman will herd said that while he agrees that the quid pro quo is a violation of law, but he is not sure if there is criminal intent. take a listen to this. >> i think that if you are trying to get information on a political rival to use in a political campaign, it is not something that a president or any official should be doing. i think that everybody has, most republicans have said that it would be a violation of the law. what i want to see is if there is an ability of established criminal intent, and did the ukrainians know that this is some kind of quid pro quo? >> cynthia, do you feel that the
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criminal intent has been established yet? look, we know that one of the hardest things to prove in court is intent, and how do the democrats go about proving this? >> well, first of all, let me say that what the ukrainians knew has nothing to go with the criminal sgenintent, and that i some argument is down the rabbit hole, and frame it after the mueller report where the whole discussion of that meeting with trump jr. trying to get dirt on hillary, and the mueller conversation of we don't know if you understood that it is wrong. we had that for two years, and that informs the criminal intent issue. they knew it was wrong to get, to try to do that and that is why instead of, and look at the consciousness of guilt that we v and instead of going through the normal channels, and through the state department, they used giuliani and sondland and their little three amigos and the side
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channels the do it, because they did not want it to come out in public. for example, sondland when he had phone calls, he specifically said that he did not want anybody to take notes or write it down, and there a lot of information on criminal intent. >> and robert, you been writing a lot about all of this important process and that being supreme court justice john roberts and take us through the extent of the role, because in the piece, you are noting that mcconnell's recent comments of robert's rule on motions of any side is going to give him the articles to toss impeachment if the republicans ask him to do so? >> the constitution is quiet on what the chief justices' role is except to preside over the impeachment trial. and there are only two of them, and in which the president was impeached and put on trial in the senate, so the roadmap is scant at that point. you know, i think that all of this shows why the chief justice is probably fairly reluctant in
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his role. he wants to present more than anything else, himself, and the supreme court as neutral arbiters, and as you can see by the discussions that we have been having today, and you know, there is nothing neutral about the democrats and the republicans in the process. >> can i just ask you quickly about the tiff at thanksgiving time last year about the president and john roberts and the president was ticked off that the obama judge had ruled against the administration, and john roberts says no obama judge or trump judge, and the judges are supposed to be impartial, and you think that any of that shows how this is going as to be influencing? >> and the people will say anything, and the chief justice is a rare and unusual statement for the chief justice to do that and he had been urged by judges to say more and the president
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tweeted more about it and refused to be drawn back into it. and the chief justice, when he goes tout speak out speaking in which is not that many times, he talks about the court being nonpart san and -- nonpartisan and i think that is important. >> thank you both. and now, a poll that measures michael bloomberg's chances against the president and more from democratic rivals. . ♪ all around the wind blows ♪ we would only hold on to let go ♪ ♪ blow a kiss into the sun ♪ we need someone to lean on ♪ blow a kiss into the sun ♪ we needed somebody to lean on ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ all we need is someone to lean on ♪
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enjoy every moment-and help protect yourself from an unexpected one, like a cardiovascular event. are you doing enough? ask your doctor if it's time for xarelto®. to learn more about cost and how janssen can help, visit xarelto.com. i believe it is inappropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rifle. now, it leads to a question, if there's a political rival with a family member who's involved in questionable activity, what do you do? just let them alone. set that aside. i believe it was inappropriate. i don't believe it was impeachable. >> ranking member of the house armed services committee with his argument as the impeachment inquiry is entering a new and critical stage. thorn bster ary die veshe ry di others in his party.
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the republicans have no unified argument in the impeachment inquiry of donald trump because they cannot agree how to proceed. republican strategist susan del percio, msnbc political analyst. susan, you first here. i'm curious to how big a problem will this lack of a shared defense be for republicans in the open hearings? although, you remember that one week, all we heard were the words process, process, process, from everybody. they were unified at that time, but this time, what do you think? >> they're not unified because they don't know what the president's going to say next. that's the problem when you have a one-person-run war room. that's whatever donald trump feels like saying whenever he feels like saying it. who knows what he's going to say on the eve of the hearings. we just don't know. republicans don't know so they can't get their messaging down. a although, given at this point, how much donald trump likes chaos, dysfunction and
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mismosh -- that's an official term, by the way -- he may like the fact that there are so many different things out there conflicting with one another because it creates more skepticism, potentially, for the public watching it. >> felipe, let's take a look at an argument from rand paul. >> i think the american people want fairness. i don't think they're going to judge fairness when they're accusing president trump of the same thing joe biden did. threatening the aid of some corruption is not investigated. i think really what's going to happen is people are saying, they're impeaching president trump for exactly the same thing joe biden did. >> what's your response to that? >> that is not what people are going to say. that might be what rand paul and a number of his colleagues like lindsey graham and jim jordan say, but that is not what people are going to see. what people are going to see with their own two eyes is a litany of people, a parade of people who are career and have no inherent dislike or disdain
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for trump, whether it's uniformed colonel vindman or ambassador sondland who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for donald trump, or kurt volker or bill taylor. in isn't going to be a problem for them because there's a really big difference. this is their play book that they just scream and make a lot of noise and attack. but they had a real advantage when they did this during the mueller report, during the investigation, because mueller couldn't fight back. so, they would attack mueller's credibility and his 13 angry democrats and who they were doing and how they were doing it and it really took a toll. now they have -- the people they're picking on can fight back. for their process arguments, boy, do they need to be careful what they ask for because they are about to get all these people on tv saying some really devastating stuff. >> so, given what philippe has just said, is there any chance the republicans come out in a worse off position than they are
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right now? >> yes and no. the democrats, if they stick to their narrative and let the professional staff do the interviewing, that will work to their advantage. at the same time, this country is so divisive right now and so at arms with each other that there's always going to be about 40% with donald trump and 40% against donald trump. so, i don't see that really happening necessarily on the public side unless the stories, as they're told, are so dchltd amning. >> can i quickly, before i let you go, ask you to weigh in on michael bloomberg crashing the democratic party potentially. what are your thoughts on that? >> i don't think he's crashing. he's late to the party and i don't think it's going to succeed especially if he's skipping all four of the first competitions. he's seeing what's accurate, which is it's a very fluid race. it can be fluid without being
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negative to the front-runners. "the washington post" did an analysis in october that 29% of democrats change their first choice. so, he's right that people are still deciding. plus, it's a fairly large amounts of undecideds. >> as the new yorker here, susan, what do you think? >> i grew up in new york. i grew up in the upper west side. >> i'm new york -- >> i'm giving her the new yorker status but you're both honored as such. >> adds someone who knows -- knows some of the folks advising mike bloomberg for over 20 years, they're very smart people. they would not urge michael bloomberg to go forward if they didn't see a path. that being said, this can still be a trial balloon. we don't know yet until he actually says, i am announcing for president. >> you know, when we first heard the rumors about, philippe, michael bloomberg, we also heard about hrc, hillary clinton. >> someone named hillary maybe? i think she's been watching
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wistfully, would be the word i'd call it. i've said it to you, i said it on air and i said it on other networks that i can't with a straight face say that the odds are absolutely zero. they're highlily unlikely and close to zero, but i'd be lying if i said they're zero. not because there's any dislike or concern about the other candidates but she's watching and, you know, part of her still knows she's the best person to lead this country after someone beats him. it's going to be a mess. it's going to be a mishmosh. >> we will leave it there. that's a great word. thank you so much. aaligns how democrats and republicans are gearing up for a packed week of impeachment hearings and the best of the sunday morning shows. ng shows ♪ work so hard ♪ give it everything you got ♪ strength of a lioness ♪ tough as a knot ♪ rocking the stage ♪ and we never gonna stop ♪ all strength, no sweat. ♪ just in case you forgot ♪ all strength. ♪ no sweat secret. all strength. no sweat.
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good day, everybody. from msnbc world headquarters in new york, welcome to "weekends wi with alex witt." 72 hours away from hearings. on this day, 48 of the impeachment inquiry, let's take a listen. >> i consider any impeachment in the house that doesn't allow us to know who the whistle-blower is to be invalid. >> his attacking of the whistle-blower is categorically unacceptable. there is whistle-blower law passed to protect people, to protect our national security.
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>> it's impossible to bring this case forward, in my view, fairly, without us knowing who the whistle-blower is. so, if they don't call the whistle-blower in the house, this thing is dead on arrival in the senate. >> the whistle-blower, again, has protection. >> i think there's a real question whether you think the president should specifically go after one person, but there's a real question whether joe biden should have gone after one prosecutor. it's exactly the same scenario. >> the president of the united states demanding extorting a vulnerable country to do his political bidding, to go after his opponent, has nothing to do with joe biden. >> we want to stay focused on the ukraine call. and having hunter biden come in is unrelated to the ukraine call. >> i believe that it is inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival. i believe it was inappropriate. i do not believe it was impeachable. >> to try to do all that in that
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short period of time, i think that's next to impossible. >> to break down all the day's responds, kelly o'donnell, abe ga abigail tracy and phillip bunk from "the washington post." republicans drawing a deep battle lines giving us a preview of the strategies for the week ahead. here's a bit more on that. >> this is a very strong case of bribery because you have an elected official, the president, demanding action of a foreign country in this case, of -- and providing something of value, dh is the investigation. >> whatever happens now, there will be a taint to this one-sided, partisan approach to impeachment that is different than has been used before and, so, i think there will be intent skepticism about whatever they come up with. >> the white house also reacting to the imminent open hearings.
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let's go to nbc's kelly o'donnell for that part of the story for us. what is the white house saying? >> reporter: the white house, of course, is pushing back on this. and we're hearing a couple of different things. president trump is saying he doesn't want to see impeachment hearings at all because he believes that his conduct in the phone calls with ukraine and the other issues related to that are, in his view, not something that is inappropriate. he defends himself as having done nothing wrong. of course, democrats say that he abused his power, that he was trying to seek information on a potential political rival. and that he was withholding duly appropriated resources from the congress for ukraine and their defenses against russia. we're also hearing a lot about the whistle-blower. the president has said he would like to see the whistle-blower, number one, and the second whistle-blower, number two, what happened to them, the president asks? we heard some of that today from his press secretary, stephanie grisham, who appeared on fox. as you know, she does not do briefings for the general press, but increasingly of late she's
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been doing interviews on fox. here's how she gamed out the week ahead. >> this is all their own speculation. this is all their own interpretation of what the president said. but the president being the most transparent president in history released the transcripts so the american people can make up their own minds. whistle-blower protections are important. you can't just not question the motivation of this whistle-blower. >> reporter: so, that's part of what we're hearing. wondering and speculating and suggesting that there were motivations not only on the whistle-blower who has not been publicly identified but some of the other witnesses who have given testimony in closed-door sessions, depositions under oath, and some will appear in public as this public phase begins. question, were they in some way, even though they're working for the administration or have been part of the government appara s apparatus, were they somehow against the president? we heard that from his lips
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directly and those in administration. a lot of questions being raised you saw reflected in the kind of conversation from lawmakers on the sunday shows today, is the process fair? republicans are saying that they're not being able to give an appropriate fair hearing if their witnesses are not called. democrats get to decide the witness list. adam schiff, chairman of the intelligence committee, says he'll give due consideration but he's not going to open it up to litigate everything the president wants, including investigating the bidens. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you for that. abigail, you first. your reaction to the white house argument as we enter this new phase of the impeachment inquiry, particularly that line about how you cannot not question the motivation of the whistle-blower because it would seem like the whistle-blower's motivation, whatever he or she said, is so far back in the rearview mirror at this point. >> yeah, exactly. you've really seen this evolution in terms of the white house argument. initially the criticism they lobbed at the whistle-blower was
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their information was seco secondhand, hearsay, hearing it from other people. over the last couple of weeks we saw firsthand witnesses corroborate rating what was in the complaint that set off this spectacle on capitol hill. now they're circling back to it because i think it's getting harder and harder for republicans to engage with the substance of these testimonies and the arguments and sort of, you know, the circumstances that are being presented in these private hearings. what they've done is really circled back to that whistle-blower and trying to, you know, force that to be their talking point as they choose not to engage on these other sort of more substantive points. >> yeah. two words, process versus substance, phillip. the white house and the allies appear to focus the attacks on the process of the probe, democrats are trying to zero in on the substance, specifically whether the president engaged in this quid pro quo. what do you think the reaction
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will be as people listen to the narratives play out? >> so far with the launch of the impeachment inquiry in september, we saw a quick spike in the polls showing support for impeachment and further impeachment removal. it's sort of leveled off since then because a lot of the depositions were handled behind closed doors. we've seen the transcripts coming out but that's not as evocative as seeing people testimony themselves. the reaction remains to be seen. we're seeing this impeachment inquiry is inherently a political process, which has always been -- impeachment is a political endeavor. i think we're seeing how partisans are responding to that. republicans obviously don't like this at all, generally. they're coming up with what rationalizations they can to undermine it, the process, do we need to hear from the whistle-blower, so on, so forth. the democrats certainly do want to make sure they're giving -- you know, putting out all the evidence they possibly can so they actually are doing this fairly. but they don't share those same concerns. >> look, by what you just said, i don't want to put words in your mouth, but it would seem to me that you think by bringing these things public now, these
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hearings, that that will garner more support for impeachment. i mean, we can look to history and suggest that is what has happened in history as well. but, i mean, do you think ultimately that's what will happen? >> i think the democrats think that's what's going to happen. i think the democrats think they need to have that happen. not much has changed in the past month or so. i don't know. we just saw stephanie grisham, the white house spokesperson, who only goes on fox news. republicans trust fox news more than any other network. the fox news isn't covering these witnesses as much as other networks. there is this environment about what is actually happening, evidence brought to the surface, isn't actually getting out there. that's one reason minds haven't changed. more broadly, most americans say they're not going to change their mind on donald trump. most democrats and a plurality of republicans say that. it's likely nothing will change anyway. >> wow. you just took the air out of the balloon there. we did hear from a number of republicans this morning who
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have remained pretty steadfast, to your point, for support for the president. take a listen to ron johnson earlier. >> i found out about the withholding -- or the holdup in the funding about the end of august. august 29th. the funding was released by september 11th. largely due to a lot of pressure put on by people like me and senator portman and senator durbin and other people. i remain sympathetic with president trump's legitimate concerns about the corruption. he's been very consistent in his conversation with me and others, that that was his reason for withholding the funding. >> so, abigail, look, he's making this argument that this was all about corruption. when you have six u.s. officials confirming on the record that the president did engage in quid pro quo, how does one reconcile that? >> yeah. i think what we're really seeing is republicans trying to push to widen the appepicture of the corruption. they want to make it about hunter and joe biden and they're trying to expand it to muddy the
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water. that runs completely counter to the strategy democrats are employing, which is to stay focused and stay focused on tying the president to this quid pro quo and the military aid. back to the earlier points made around the public sentiment and what these public hearings will or will not invoke in public is really kind of this focus on who democrats view as key witnesses. they did learn from the mueller hearing, they learned that first hour of public hearings is kind of what will set the narrative and they're leading with who they view as the strongest witnesses in this impeachment inquiry, thus far bill taylor and george kent, and moving to former ambassador to ukraine. really the idea is to stay focused on that quid pro quo while republicans try to move away from it and widen that aperture. >> so we're auto the same page, the second specific big headline, the names, the faces of those people who actually will be in the public spotlight. it all starts on wednesday.
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career officials bill taylor and george kent expected to testimony on wednesday, marie yovanovitch set for friday. democrats have the final say on which republican requested witnesses could potentially get added to this guest list. let's take a listen to what democratic congressman jim heim said earlier. >> i suspect most of the public has not read the released transcripts. what they're going to hear is they're going to hear immensely patriotic, beautifully articulated -- articulate people telling the story of a president who -- let's forget quid pro quo. quid pro quo is one of these things to muddy the works. who extorted a vulnerable country by holding up military aid. so, yes, this he are going to hear something new. >> philip, will it be new revelations, clarifying or an introduction to those who
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haven't read the witness depositions? >> i belief it will be all of those. bill taylor had an lengthy statement in which he articulated all the various things he was priy to, which was damning in and of itself. you showed that clip from ron johnson. ron johnson was told on august 30th by gordon sondland the aid was beingwithheld because he wanted these investigations. he said it was a quid pro quo and he argues in terms the president would like to hear. i think that summarizes a lot of what we'll hear this week. >> yeah. what about you in terms of what you're hearing from the democrats with their expectations of what's to come this week? >> yeah. i mean, i think they are hopeful. i don't think they expect much that the public has read through the hundreds and hundreds of pages of testimony as some of us reporters have, but i think they're hoping they can sort of present an image of who these individuals are, who these dips are and this broader story and attach faces and people to it.
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especially when you look at ambassador -- at the former ambassador to ukraine. that is an individual they see as the first victim of this entire process. again to philip's point and senator ron johnson said, he talked about the idea of being bipartisan pressure in terms of the release of the military aid. i think one of the questions democrats are hoping to put forward is, you know, would that aid have been released without that bipartisan support or would it have hinged upon these requests that were out to the ukrainian government? i think that is a point the democrats will push forward and put in the minds of, you know, public viewers who are watching this unfold. >> i'm curious about your reaction to the gop witness list. democrats say they could call some of those on that list, especially those who have already testified in private, right? >> yeah. i think the democrats will be looking for a way to call some of these people in order to say, look, we extended an olive branch here. most of the names on the list are probably readily obvious to
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people why republicans want to hear from them, hunter biden, cha l chalupa, who wound up in this argument. it's obvious the republicans also want to use these witnesses as a way to change the narrative about what's happening exactly as abigail said earlier. i think from that standpoint democrats will be extremely low to give them a lot of robust to do that. >> good to see you both. thanks for joining me. up next, someone who has already had a seat for some of the closed-door depositions weighs in on what's to come. congressman tommy berra joins me next. we're heading into new territory this week with the impeachment probe with the first public testimony from witnesses. tonight we have a new msnbc special looking at what to expect in these coming hearings, plus new original reporting on the impeachment leader for the democrats, adam schiff. did you know he won an impeachment case in the senate in 2010? we'll get into all that with
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constitutional scholar lauren stride, senator mccaskill and the origins of the whole ukrainian conspiracy theory at the heart of this probe. i hope you join us at 9:00 p.m. eastern. ♪ liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. i wish i could shake your hand. granted. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ upbeat music♪
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the political spectacle that is public impeachment testimony is coming this week. lawmakers are taking sides on how to spin it. >> i think it's a big mistake for anybody to argue quid pro
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quo, didn't have quid pro quo. i know that's what the administration is arguing. i wouldn't make that argument. i would make the argument that every politician in washington, aside from me, is trying to manipulate you to ukraine's purposes. >> because ambassador sondland has refreshed his recollection, they're all basically admitting there was a quid pro quo but, gosh, it wasn't that bad. >> joining me now to discuss the impeachment testimony, democratic representative, ami be bera, with a big welcome to you, sir. what's your reaction to this whole quid pro quo argument? >> well, alex, thanks for having me on. you know, what the public will hear next week with ambassador taylor, kent and yovanovitch is very definite quid pro quo. this was a president who withheld funding because he wanted information on a political rival. that just can't happen in america.
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>> do you buy what rand paul was saying, which is, look, every president does quid pro quo, it's part of politics. >> you know, this wasn't appropriate. this was working outside of the bounds of the checks and balances in our constitution government. remember, congress appropriated these funds to protect an ally, that is in active war. the president made the decision to withhold those funds. we don't have to guess at that because his acting chief of staff publicly was candid with us and said they withheld the funds. that can't happen. >> rand paul, you know, pretty much admitted it as well, we should say. i know you attended some closed door depositions in the impeachment inquiry. what can you tell our viewers to expect to hear now that this testimony goes public. >> they'll hear from career folks that served our country in a patriotic way, ambassador taylor, west point graduate,
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vietnam war veteran, someone who loves this country and has served ukraine previously you should the bush administration. this is not a political person. he expressed some reservations about actually coming back in, but it was secretary of state pompeo that asked him to come back in after they dismissed marie yovanovitch. you'll hear from ambassador yovanovitch, another career foreign service officer, who has faithfully served this country about everything she had to deal with, including rudy giuliani. and then you'll hear from ambassador kent, who also will corroborate some of this. the one name that keeps coming up is rudolph giuliani. he is not a government employee. he's someone operating outside the bounds of the checks and balances in our constitution. >> i'd like you to take a listen to what the former ambassador to the united nations nikki haley said about this inquiry. take a listen. >> do you think ultimately the president will be impeached and
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removed from office? >> no. on what? you're going to impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn't happen and giving money and it wasn't withheld? i don't know what you would impeach him on. look, impeachment is like the death penalty for a public official. when you look at the transcript, there's nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president. >> to her point about the death penalty, she's 100% right. with theest are of it, be a politician gets impeached, it is the death penalty, but to the rest of it? >> she didn't exonerate the president. she said when you look at the president, she doesn't think it's impeachable. that's up to the public. that will be up to us as we go through this public phase of the public hearing. every member of the house will have a chance to review the transcripts, hear the testimony and then my assumption is will draw up articles of the
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impeachment and the whole house will vote. what worries me, when you go over to the sna, when you listen to senators like graham, it sounds like they already made up their mind. they're not an impartial jury and that's unfortunate. >> how about the people in this country, though, when we look at this public support for impeaching the president, support goes up and then down slightly. do you think once the public hearings begin, do you expect support for impeachment to go back up again? >> i think when the public hears the testimony and sees folks like ambassador taylor, lieutenant colonel vindman, i think they will understand and recognize what the president did was inappropriate. and probably out of bounds of our constitution. now, will they believe that rises to obstruction of justice, that rises to abuse of power? that will be determined in how we present the case. but also how the case plays out in the senate. >> i'm curious about those that have been called to testify but have not yet complied to do so. is there any chance in your mind, many of whom have been
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issued subpoenas, that we'll see some of them come forward during this public phase? >> you know, i would hope so. if we, in fact, do move into articles of impeachment and impeachment hearing, not an inquiry, at that juncture this is about as serious as it gets. i would hope there are a lot of folks in the cabinet that know a lot. we know john bolton's attorney said he knows a lot. we want mick mulvaney to come forward. we want the access to the documents that we've been asking. again, this is about as serious as it gets. i would hope the president doesn't compound his obstruction of justice by continuing to refuse to allow folks to come forward. >> ami bera, thanks for your time. in a moment, the tangle and twists in the roger stone trial where the judge told the jury not to watch the movie "the godfather," how the whackiness
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with impeachment taking center stage, a criminal trial against roger stone, one of the president's allies during the 2016 election s separately playing out in a courtroom in washington. joining me now, charlie guile,
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covering the case for us. let's get to roger stone, who we know is accused of lying to congress about the contacts for wikileaks. what kind of evidence has been presented so far? >> well, the jury has seen a mountain of evidence, videos, emails, text messages. probably the most compelling evidence is audio clips of stone's testimony before the house committee. the defense said in their opening arguments these same clips would exonerate roger stone, once the jury heard those, they couldn't find him guilty but the prosecution has weaponized those audio clips to prove he lied to the committee. >> what about the steve bannon factor. he was something of a reluctant witness when he testified on friday but how about his testimony, how compelling was that connecting stone to wikileaks? >> well, one thing was clear from the get go, and that was that steve bannon didn't want to be there. he testified that had he not been compelled to testify, he wouldn't have. but i think bannon was a good
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witness for the prosecution because he drove home one of the main points and that is the trump campaign believed roger stone had inside information about wikileaks' operations. >> you just said trump campaign. how about the president's name, have we heard president donald trump, has that been invoked at all during this trial? >> a few times. bannon testified a little bit about what his impression was roger stone and donald trump's relationship is. mostly his name has come up in connection with his campaign. one of the things that the prosecution is trying to prove is that roger stone lied about his contacts with the trump campaign during the 2016 election. >> is there anything of a side show element here? i mean, is there something you think was the most unexpected development? what do they have against "the godfathe godfather"? >> it's clear randy credico loved "the godfather." he testified every italian he knows knows every word to that movie, and roger stone is one of
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those people. what was surprising is randy credico's testimony as a whole. he's a comedian and sometimes the testimony went off the rails. he tried to do a bernie sanders impression on the stand. but i think he came across as a credible witness because he was able to recall dates and times things happened with almost rainman-esque precision. that will have the jury really thinking. >> i'm actually trying to figure out how the court reporter, you know, writes down in ala bernie sanders style, or something. what do you expect to happen next? >> the prosecution has said they're going to be done with their case in chief by wednesday at the latest. we'll still hear from rick gates and maybe a few other witnesses that we don't know about. and then at that point the defense will take over. they don't have to put on any witnesses. but both sides think the trial will be over by thanksgiving. >> well, we'll look for that and bring you back on when it is over. thank you so much, charlie, if not before, of course. coming now to the fallout from that horrific massacre on an american mormon community in
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mexico with the deceased victims now laid to rest, fearful family members have returned to the u.s. wondering what comes next. >> reporter: the last victim of monday's massacre in mexico now laid to rest. christina langford-johnson gunned down while protecting her 7-month-old baby faith who was later found unharmed. her family in mourning after a roadside ambush that killed three american mothers and their six children. their remains found in bullet-riddled vehicles. one vehicle burned out after the gas tank exploded. >> four of my grandchildren are burnt and shot up. >> they call them nine angels. women and kids. we just can't understand that level of evil. >> reporter: now a family split by fear. dozens of mormon decedents fleeing the community of la mora in mexico just days after the massacre. >> took everything we could fit in the vehicle to get across the border because we definitely
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don't feel safe there anymore. >> reporter: saturday afternoon an 18-vehicle caravan arrived in arizona, their trucks loaded to the brim with everything they could carry while others remained defiant. christina's sister saying she wouldn't let the killings force her from her home. officials and family members suspect that cartels, which are rampant in that area, carried out the attack. the motive remains unclear. no arrests have been made but the mexican government has deployed reinforcements to the region. for these family members, it's too little, too late. >> the damage has already been done. and they not only killed nine people, they killed a community. that will never be the same. >> nbc's morgan radford reporting there. we're hearing all but one of the five children injured in that attack have been released from the hospital. that adds a bit of a glimmer of hope amidst this tragedy. a surprising prediction about the fate of donald trump from a congressman with a vote on impeachment next. hmm. exactly.
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i still think there's a reasonable chance trump won't be on the ballot. i think there's a reasonable chance he'll be removed from the office by senate or decide he's facing an embarrassing defeat at the polls next year and decides not to run. i don't know that that's a 70% possibility but i think it's at least a 25% possibility. >> general congressman yarmouth with his assessment of the president's positioning as we
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head into 2020. and he also said he thinks it's more likely the president bows out of the race than that he is removed from office. let's bring in msnbc contributor adrian elrod, former adviser to hillary clinton's campaign, don callaway and noelle nicpour. do you believe there's a reasonable chance, i put that in quotes, that the president is not on the ballot? >> look, i appreciate, alex, the optimism of congressman yarmouth, but, no. i think maybe there's a.001 chance donald trump will resign. he's made it clear he's not going to. we have to assume as democrats and we have to assume as candidates, people running for office, that donald trump is going to be on the ballot. sure, fshgt, there's always a chance he bows out of this race. his approval ratings among republicans are sky high right now. his biggest trouble is with independents and moderate swing
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votes where he's in the gutter. i think we have to go into 2020 with the assumption that donald trump is going to be on the ballot. i think he's going to tb impeached in the house. i think the senate will be a totally different ball game. >> if he stays, as she categorized it, in the gutter. do you think there is a chance he looks at this and sees, yeah, he's got his base but not much yong that? >> no, i don't think so. there's no reason we've seen over the last five years since he's been in political public life to ascribe any strategy or reason to this president's behavior. i think that's the thing john yarmuth is correct about. he's an entirely unreasonable actor and unpredictable actor. that said, i don't see him looking at numbers and suggesting that, okay, i don't have independents so i'm going to get out of here. as a matter of fact, i see him looking at the numbers and, perhaps, even lying to himself and saying the people still leaf me, he's got a bunch of yes men
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around him that will convince him he's the man. i don't see him doing anything like that. in all seriousness, that loss is going to be rough for him. the next day or when he has to give up the office after the impeachment, assuming he gives it up peacefully -- >> holds up. you said gives up the office after the impeachment. did you mean after the election? >> after the election. i'm sorry. yes, forgive me. assuming he gives it up peacefully, that loss will be rough for his ego but i don't see him going out on his own accord. >> do you at all think it's plausible that if the president sees polling shifting dramat dramatically against him after public testimony, sees a competitive race but someone faring very strong when it gets through super tuesday, getting through the conventions, that he decides, i am going to pull back, do you think there's any chance that he would do that if don's prediction is correct and the day after the election in november next year, he's stung pretty badly?
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>> no, alex, i don't. this guy has got -- he's got a teflon mentality and he also doesn't really believe the polls and neither -- neither do any of his base because if you look back, remember back in the day, hillary clinton was poised for a win. all the numbers pointed towards her. we got a huge surprise and a huge shock, you know, even though the polls were going a different way. i don't think this is a guy that goes by numbers. i think this is a guy that goes by feel and by gut. i don't really think even if things point in a bad direction, this guy seems to look beyond the bad direction. >> all right. this is to you as we listen to john yarmuth the who listed the articles of impeachment he expects. >> you might get a bribery article. you'll get an abuse of power which essentially will be the
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same thing because it will involve the same fact pattern and then definitely an obstruction of congress since the administration has chosen not to cooperate to any extent at all. >> so, bribery was a maybe but the other two he believes are definite. do more articles of impeachment make it a stronger case for democrats or is it wise to focus on just one? >> i think that's going to be left up to the committee process, alex. i think it's important to take a step back and focus on the facts, which is what speaker pelosi and what the chairs of the oversight committees are doing here. they're saying, let's look at all the evidence, let's see what comes out of this and make a determination. when it comes to the situation with ukraine and the biden family, that is a very clear-cut reason for impeachment versus the russia situation which i think tended to confuse people to an extent. this is something that congress -- we need to let the process play out.
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this is something congress will be focused on. i have all the faith and confidence in the committee chairs overseeing this process, especially adam schiff, and nancy pelosi at the helm. i think we need to let the process play out and then see what evidence comes forward and make that determination. >> you've just mentioned those in the house and not the senate. the question to you, don, a big question, how are senators viewing their roles as potential jurors in an impeachment trial? let's take a glimpse into how both sides are playing out right now. >> one of our traditions about justice, about finding justice, is defense should be able to present their witnesses. if you can't call hunter biden and you can't call the whistle-blower, that's short of a sham. >> if they don't call can the whistle-blower in the house, this thing is dead on arrival in the senate. >> i look at people like lindsey graham and i say, you know, could he survive a jury selection process and a criminal trial? absolutely not. and not many republican senators can. >> how do you see it, don? >> so, let's be very clear. what we're seeing from the republican senators right now is a reemptive gaslighting of the
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american people. what the trial, if you consider the senate proceedings after the house impeaches to a trial-like proceeding, what their question is an up or down vote on whether or not what the president did should rise to him being removed from office. it has nothing to do with whether or not hunter biden comes in. hunter biden can add nothing to that discussion he was rt not part of the call between zelensky and trump. the whistle-blower is not entirely irrelevant but almost irrelevant at this point because his or her testimony has been corroborated by multiple sources. next week you have fiona hill coming in, ambassador zelensky, bill young, george kent. these are people who were part of this thing and have been for the last nine months. these are experts who know what's going on and those are the folks who are going to testify. that's the evidence that will be borne out and put before the house and eventually the senate. the whistle-blower is really not entirely necessary at this point
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because you have real and reasonable parties who are experts who know what happened. so, this republican defense is so flimsy and really is an insult to the american people at this point. >> noelle, you want to respond to what don just said? >> sure. i think especially if you focus on some of the witnesses the republicans have called to come forth, if you look at it, it would change the narrative. it changes the focus from trump and the ukraine and the phone call to hunter biden, what's going on with biden, what's going on with the biden family's business tactics and what they're involved in. it takes the focus away from the initial investigation and puts it right on into, you know another narrative. and i think if anything, i think some people that are republicans have learned how trump spins a narrative to get off him and focus on something else, i think you're witnessing it.
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>> don makes the point that it's not the bidens up for impeachment. do you think republican senators are going to be fair-minded in a potential trial? would they even be open to hearing potential evidence against the president? >> sure they would. but this is an leshgz year, alex. when you have sound bites of the bidens and a list of people that, you know, republicans want you to know about and focus on, it's still in the media. so, i mean, they're still getting these names out there. so, you know, they're attempting to try to change the narrative. >> i want to take a listen to how congressman jim himes believed he should frame what the president did. >> there will be new information. i suspect most of the public has not read the released transcripts. what they're going to hear is they're going to hear immensely patriotic, beautifully articulated -- articulate people telling the story of a president
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who, let's forget quid pro quo. quid pro quo is one of these things to muddy the works, who extorted a vulnerable country by holding up military aid. so, yes, they are going to hear something new. >> he went on to use the word bribery. do you think democrats can make a better case by not using quid pro quo and talk simply, bribery, extortion? >> yeah, alex, i think they can. i also think the entire trajectory of this is going to change once these hearings become public. msnbc, networks across the board are going to tb covering these hearings from the beginning to the end. the american people will finally be able to understand from start to finish, in large part, because of the witnesses, the credibility of the witnesses coming forward, what happened and what this process is all about. yes, i do think the trajectory is going to change. i think congressman himes is right by saying, you know, i think we're going to see a totally different situation once all this evidence is made public. >> all right.
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thank you, guys. good to see all three of you. bernie versus the billionaire. how sanders is getting a head start on his opponent before michael bloomberg even enters the race. t before michael bloomberg even enters the race day 23.
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on the road to 2020 where several candidates are finishing their weekend. just three months before the iowa caucus. pete buttigieg is in new hampshire while kamala harris and bernie sanders are in iowa and joining me now from orange city, iowa, shaquille brewster. it's been all sanders all weekend long so with a welcome to you, before we get the event, i know the senator had thoughts on michael bloomberg possibly tossing his hat into the race. what can you tell us about that? >> just making sure you can hear me. >> just give -- it's cool. give me a sense of -- >> i'll tell you -- >> and what do you think about michael bloomberg tossing his hat into the race? >> you know, senator sanders is a candidate who regularly on the campaign trail if you try to get him to draw a contrast with
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other candidates b, he'll deflect and talk about other things. but i think the exception is here with michael bloomberg. with him not being in the race yet. he was in coryville, iowa and listen to how he brought up michael bloomberg and what he said. listen here. >> so tonight, we say to michael bloomberg and other billionaires, sorry! you ain't going to buy this election. you're not going to get elected president by avoiding iowa. by avoiding new hampshire. south carolina and nevada. you're not going to buy this election by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on media in california. those days are gone. >> and the key frustration it seems like with sanders there is that michael bloomberg according to sources and what you're
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herring from his team is that he will ignore these first four states and kind of pick up during super tuesday. mayor bloomberg says that will put him on equal footing. bernie sanders has a little issue with that. >> okay. thank you so much. ahead in our next hour, the silent treatment. is it just our imagination or has william barr been quiet about impeachment? s william bar about impeachment? memory loss related to aging? prevagen is the number one pharmacist-recommended memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture now might not be the best time to ask yourself
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