tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 20, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PST
hearings pick up with the very interesting case of e.u. ambassador gordon sondland. tomorrow night at 9 p.m. eastern it's the democratic debate here in atlanta. msnbc coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. the 11th hour with brian williams is up next. a long day's journey into night after an almost 12-hour day in the hearing room. the news tonight is about four public servants, all of whom swore an oath to the constitution describing their discomfort with the effort by the president of the united states to get a foreign leader to go after the bidens. plus, one of today's witnesses adjusts his story in the face of a flood of other testimony as the white house attacks their own plus, one of today's witnesses adjusts his story in the face of a flood of other testimony. as the white house attacks their own employee and the president again bashes the proceedings. meanwhile, the questions continue about the story john bolten could tell and the likelihood we might ever hear it. and the anticipation for
tomorrow, gordon sondland, the lead witness, a man with a lot of explaining to do as "the 11th hour" get the under way this tuesday night. good evening from our headquarters in new york. the latest round of republican impeachment hearings wrap up a short time ago. it was a marathon day. the questioning was relentless again today. it will be again tomorrow. four witnesses testified for nearly ten hours before the house intel committee about what they knew about president trump's request to ukraine's president to investigate democratic political rivals. the day was divided into two sessions. the first set of witnesses saw jennifer williams, a state department employee detail to vice president pence's office on eurasia matters. and lieutenant colonel vindman
on the national security session. the afternoon session heard from two officials the republican side called as witnesses. kurt volker, the former u.s. special envoy for ukraine and the peace talks there, and tim morrison, an nsc senior official overseeing russia and europe policy. morrison was on that july 25th call with ukraine's president. he resigned in october. volker provided one of the hearings big unexpected moments when he amended his closed door testimony and acknowledged others had laid out conditions to ukraine for releasing military aid. >> at no time was i aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge ukraine to investigate former vice president biden. i was not on the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky. i was not made aware of any reference to vice president biden or his son by president trump. until the transcript of that call was released, i did not know that president trump or others had raised vice president with ukrainians, or conflated
the investigation of possibly ukrainian corruption with the investigation of the former vice president. in hindsight i now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the ukrainian company as equivalent to investigating former vice president biden. >> not long after that moment, former national security council official tim morrison gave what may be the clearest outline of quid pro quo heard so far. it came during this exchange when morrison was asked to recall a september 1st conversation between u.s. ambassador to the e.u., gordon sondland, and ukraine government official andrei yermak. >> what did ambassador sondland tell you that he told mr. yermak? >> that the ukrainians would have to have the prosecutor general make a statement with respect to the investigations as a condition of having the aid lifted. >> as you may know, this scandal has been branded missiles for
misinformation. the president's personal lawyer and his influence on trump's thinking on ukraine was also discussed. here's what ambassador volker said trump told him. >> he said that ukraine was a corrupt country, full of terrible people. he said they tried to take me down. president trump had a deeply rooted negative view on ukraine rooted in the past. he was receiving other information from other sources including mayor giuliani that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view. >> the day began with testimony from those two other white house officials, jennifer williams and national security official u.s. army lieutenant colonel vindman. both of them listened in on that july 25th trump/ukraine call. both testified about their concerns. >> i found the phone call unusual because in contrast to other presidential calls i had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a
domestic political matter. >> it was inappropriate. it was improper for the president to request, to demand an investigation. >> the references to specific individuals and investigations such as former vice president biden and his son struck me as political in nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. >> the witnesses were also asked about what was and what was not mentioned in that white house summary of the phone call. >> both of you recall president zelensky in that conversation raising the issue or mentioning burisma. do you not? >> that's correct. >> correct. >> and yet the word burisma appears nowhere in the call record that's been released to the public, is that right?
>> correct. that's correct. >> reminder, we have not seen a transcript. what has been released is a summary of the phone call. house republicans tried to refocus the morning session by pressing vindman on his conversations that followed the call with a line of questioning the committee chairman quickly shut down. >> lieutenant colonel vindman, do you describe the july 25th phone call with anyone outside the white house on july 25th or the 26th? if so, with whom? >> i spoke to two individuals with regard to providing a some sort of readout of the call. not in the white house. cleared u.s. government officials with appropriate need to know. >> what agencies were these officials with? >> department of state, department of state, deputy assistant secretary george kent who was responsible for the portfolio, european, including
ukraine, and an individual from the office of -- an individual in the intelligence communication. >> what agency was this individual from? >> if i could interject here, we don't want to use these proceedings -- >> it is our time but we need to protect the whistleblower. please stop. >> that exchange, that interruption was followed by a rather tense correction. >> mr. vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower. >> ranking member, it's lieutenant colonel vindman please. >> there were also attempts to call lieutenant colonel vindman's loyalty into question. the purple heart recipient came to the u.s. after a young boy after his family fled the soviet union. during the hearing he was asked about repeated job offers he had received from the director of ukraine's national security council. >> did will danyliuk offer you a
position of defense minister with the ukrainian government? >> he did. >> how many times did he do that? >> i believe it was three times. >> do you have any reason why he asked you to do that? >> i don't know, but every single time i dismissed it. upon returning, i notified my chain of command and the appropriate counter intelligence folks about the offer. >> multiple right wing conspiracy theorists including rudolph giuliani have accused you of harboring loyalty toward ukraine. they've accused you of espionage and dual loyalties. we've seen that this morning. the three minutes asking you about the offer made to make you the minister of defense that may have come clothed in a brooks brother suit, and in parliamentary language, that was designed exclusively to give the right wing media an opening to question your loyalties. >> we should note in light of lieutenant colonel vindman now being in the public eye and under criticism, the u.s. army tells nbc news, it is working with civilian authorities to
ensure that he and his family are properly protected. that could include moving them from their home if need be. as he was testifying, the president was holding a cabinet meeting and complaining about this inquiry. >> i just got to watch and the republicans are absolutely killing it. they are doing so well. because it's a scam, it's a big scam. >> one more thing here, the house did act on a piece of business today. lawmakers passed a short term funding bill today to try to avert a government shutdown and keep our government open until december 20th. that would be five days before christmas. what could go wrong? the bill now moves on to the u.s. senate. but back to our lead story. let's bring in our guests to start us off this tuesday night. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon, notably former chief counsel to that very committee
wee been watching house intelligen intelligence. the washington bureau chief for the "new york times" and jonathan, the white house reporter for the associated press. good evening and welcome to all of you. jeremy bash, i would like to begin with you. what was it we witnessed today? what have we learned after today? >> well, the record is building. here you have four trump appointees who bucked the official directive of the administration which is to stonewall congress and they came forward and they confirmed the essential facts as we know, that the president of the united states demanded that a foreign leader try to help him rig the 2020 election. and although the state of the republican defense is a little bit in disarray as they grope around for what the right theory of the case is. where they're most going is we're a year out from an election so let's let the voters decide. except the very heart of the case that the president was trying to rig that election and trying to undermine national security in so doing. so i think today was the day
that it advanced the narrative and the factual record and tomorrow, of course, we'll hear from a very important witness who is really at the center of this quid pro quo, the deal to require the investigation in exchange for the military aid. >> and jeremy, quickly, what about these attacks, glancing and direct on an active duty u.s. army lieutenant colonel general. >> it was quite frankly disgusting. here is a guy who was wound in the combat, served his country for 20 plus years, all of his brothers have served, his dad took the family out of the soviet union so they could be free. so they could speak truth to power. so they could speak openly about truth and facts. and here we have some people on the dais and some in the media claiming he was a soviet traitor, not really in the army.
i think all military families and the entire chain of commands should stand up and say who are not you agree with him or not, get off his back and let the guy live and testify in safety. >> elizabeth, at the ends of each day your job is to decide the package of coverage your newspaper runs from your bureau in washington, nothing could be more important right about now. how did you begin that task late today? how do you possibly headline what we witnessed all day long? >> well, i think the main news today was that two white house officials said in open testimony that they found the call that president trump had with the president of ukraine on july 25th as inappropriate and improper. we had heard that before from their closed door testimony. this we heard in public. secondly, the most important story, is that the white house turned on its own. we have seen president trump and the trump administration,
president trump, turn on his attorney general, turn on the fed chair, turn on people who have left the white house like john bolton. we have never seen the president turn on current white house officials who are going to go to work in the white house complex tomorrow morning. that was the first. and again, he did it in real-time. and thirdly, i think we saw that colonel vindman was very -- you know, he wore his uniform. it evoked images of oliver north from three decades ago and the iran-contra hearings. the you'll was a symbol and as a bit of a protector for colonel vindman to show i'm an american citizen, i serve my country. and yet, he was still open to criticism from the republicans. >> we have a gentleman who used to wear four stars on his uniform who is standing by to talk to us on that very topic later in this broadcast. jonathan lemire, about the republicans, did they get what they were looking to get out of today, do you think?
>> for the most part, i would say the answer is no. volker and morrison were republican witnesses. and volker in particular sort of played down what the white house and trump allies have been saying, he pretty much defended joe biden on the record. he said he was a good guy, a public servant, that he had known him for decades. he said, we heard a little at the top of the show where he outlined the false information the president had been fed on ukraine. others believe some of that originates from vladimir putin who has very negative opinions about ukraine and then closer to home, some of the conspiracy theorist which include rudy giuliani. and he really took some swipes at rudy giuliani. everyone who testified today, they're unanimous in the idea that no one in the national security community thought the united states should have withheld the aid from ukraine. sort of isolated the president and his wishes there, making it clear this was being done for political purposes. it was not to advance the
national interests of security in that part of the world. this is also highlighted two people on the call itself which is an important step, as the democrats build the narrative of this impeachment. and back to lieutenant colonel vindman who was the subject of most of the attacks, they tried to suggest that his loyalties are laid elsewhere. his family took him out of the soviet union when he was a child. and he mentioned that at the top of his remarks today. the ends of his prepared opening statement, he said his father expressed some worry for him. this is the kind of thing if you were in russia and you spoke truth to power, you could be in trouble. you could be killed. and pretty emotional moment said today in the capitol, said, dad, we're in america now. i'm paraphrasing but dad, we're in america. i'll be safe. at the same time we're learning that the military is looking to perhaps move him and his family
to a safe location because he's not safe. that's heartbreaking for us all. >> i don't know if mr. sondland ever made competitive sports, he might indeed be getting the heisman late in his career. the distancing started to begin today in the hearing. in your view, he already had a lot of explaining to do starting tomorrow morning. did his job get tougher today still today? >> i think so. multiple witnesses have come forward and say they heard him say explicitly that ukraine would not get the aid unless they conducted the investigations of the bidens. that was the testimony of colonel vindman who said on july 10th he was in a meeting in the white house during which gordon sondland said that. that's what caused colonel vindman to go to the counsel's office, to go to the lawyer and say something is really wrong here. and tim morrison, a republican, a republican congressional staffer who worked in the trump white house, he also said that sondland was tying those two
things explicitly together. maybe sondland will claim tomorrow that he was freelancing, but as we all know, the president directed sondland to do it this way. as everybody in that famous restaurant in ukraine heard. >> elizabeth, i want to pick up on something you said in your last answer about the president in social media today. yes, we heard from him in full in the cabinet room. but i actually heard someone today express pride mixed with surprise that he didn't live tweet the event. however, you view a tweet that attacked a u.s. army active duty lieutenant colonel white house staffer from the white house twitter account as at least equal to that, correct? >> well, this is the official taxpayer-funded white house twitter account going out to i don't know how many people.
this is again another first in the trump administration. we've never seen something like this before. gordon sondland tomorrow, his testimony will be very crucial. he will have to explain why he forgot that phone call with the president in that kiev restaurant last summer. it is unusual that somebody would forget a phone call with the president. i don't care how many times you talk to the president. so this will be a pretty dramatic hearing tomorrow. >> jonathan lemire, we have seconds left. i wanted to hit you on this final topic. secretary of state would like to find a graceful exit from washington. go them to kansas, run for senate. what do you think the chances are of mr. pompeo doing that? >> he has done very little to try to tamp down the speculation that he might want to do this. this comes amid reports of some real increased tension between
pompeo and the president. he's sort of been the president's favorite cabinet member for the most part in recent months, but according to some reporting, some are blaming him for the state department officials who have come up and testified in the impeachment probe. he thinks pompeo should have effectively stopped that or hired different people. most of these are pompeo hires. >> at least he hasn't defended them. >> you're right. he had that opportunity. the state department has put out a note saying there is nothing to this. the secretary of state stayed on the job. i believe he is in brussels right now ahead of some meetings tomorrow but this story is not going away any time soon. >> i reckon we'll find out what the people of kansas feel about it before too long. jeremy bash, elizabesabeth bumi. our thanks to the three of you at the end of a long day for joining us at this late hour. coming up, on the eve of another
round of critical witness testimony. what is the chance that tomorrow morning a live television audience gets to see a key witness take the fifth? and later, the decorated iraq veteran under attack today, from the white house, where he works, serving the country he loves. "the 11th hour" is just getting started on this consequential tuesday night.
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key figures in this impeachment inquiry. national security adviser john bolton and e.u. ambassador gordon sondland who is scheduled to testify hours from now. >> on july 10, 2019, alexander danyliuk visited washington, d.c. for a meeting. ambassador sondland and kurt volker also attended the meeting i attended. we fully anticipated the ukrainians would raise the issue of a meeting between presidents. ambassador bolton cut the meeting short when ambassador sondland started to speak with the requirement that ukraine deliver specific investigations to secure the meeting with president trump. >> let's talk about all of this. back with us tonight is barbara mcquade, veteran prosecutor thanks for never throwing your
phone into lake michigan when we call. we call you a lot and we depend on you on nights like this. i would like to start with sondland and then go to bolton. i'm afraid i have a three-parter for you. what's the chance he takes the fifth tomorrow morning? remind our audience why people take fifth, and is immunity the work around when people take the fifth? >> so i think there is a very high probability that gordon sondland is thinking about taking the fifth amendment. the fifth amendment is a provision, has a provision in it that says, witnesses are not, may not be compelled to be witnesses against themselves. so to avoid self-incrimination, they may invoke that right under the fifth amendment and refuse to answer questions that could incriminate them. gordon sondland having given contradictory statements now, statements that contradict the testimony of other witnesses, could very well be exposing himself to criminal charges for
perjury, or even for the substantive crimes here of conspiracy to defraud the united states in the fair administration of elections, even conspiracy to commit bribery. so he has some very real potential criminal exposure here in a very strong likelihood, i think, of invoking his fifth amendment rights not to answer those questions. but as you say, immunity is the work-around. if he were to invoke his fifth amendment rights, the trump card that the house has in this instance as prosecutors have in a criminal investigation, is to immunize him. that is to say, we agree not to use against you any statements that you might make in your testimony here. and what could be a reason they might do that is, gordon sondland is far more valuable as a witness to president trump than he is as any sort of defendant in a criminal case against himself. >> what happens to a guy like sondland if he comes before that committee and says, i've been in business all my life i run a
chain of hotels in the pacific northwest. i'm not a lawyer and i didn't understand contemporaneously that what i was hearing from the president was illegal? >> i think that it has to be plausible, about whether he understands it is illegal. and understanding that it's illegal is typically not an element of the defense. today we heard people, congressman radcliffe criticizing some of the witnesses for not characterizing things as bribery or using legal conclusions. that's not a witness's job. a witness's job is to state what the facts are. if you were to come in tomorrow and correct his testimony and say, here's what happened, i will leave it to the lawyers to characterize whether this is illegal, whether it is a quid pro quo, or whether an abuse of presidential power, his job is to say this is what happened. and he can do that and even protect himself if he gets immunity in exchange for testimony. >> and finally, in your view, bolton's status as the big fish
potential witness only increased today? >> i think so. the testimony we heard today that the july 10th meeting makes him a very valuable witness. he is the one who cut the meeting short. as lieutenant colonel vindman testified, it wasn't that the meeting was over. they had additional agenda items to discuss and they had more time left before the meeting was over, and he stopped it abruptly when gordon sondland raised this issue of investigations in exchange for military aid. he has said he will not testify unless there is a court order to do that. i think the democrats are waiting to see what order they get in the litigation they already have pending involving don mcgahn as a witness. if that goes well, i think you will see the subpoena and a court order directing bolton to testify. if he does, i think he will do the right thing. i think he'll tell truth and it will be explosive. >> thank you so much for always answering the bell and adding to our broadcast and our understanding tonight.
>> i speak russian and ukrainian and a little bit of english. >> next month marks 40 years since lieutenant colonel alexander vindman and his family came to the united states as jewish refugees fleeing the soviet union. while children living in brighton beach, brooklyn, he and his twin brother made an appearance in a 1985 ken burns documentary about the statue of liberty and immigrants in our country. >> we came from kiev. and then we went to -- >> our mother died so we went to italy. then we came here. >> when reached by news day, ken burns said he doesn't know which brother is which. lieutenant colonel vindman's twin brother is also now an active duty u.s. army lieutenant colonel, if you can believe it. the brothers work together in the white house. besides becoming a decorated officer in the u.s. army, lieutenant colonel vindman,
today's witness, earned a master's degree from harvard and served in the u.s. embassies in ukraine and russia. when asked what vindman represents today, ken burns told news day, i think he just represents the continuation of the american dream. in today's hearing, new york congressman sean patrick maloney asked the lieutenant colonel to reread a portion of his opening statement. >> dad, my sitting here today in the u.s. capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the soviet union and come here to the united states of america in search of a better life for our family. do not worry. i'll be fine for telling the truth. >> you realize when you came forward out of sense of duty, that you were putting yourself in direct opposition to the most powerful person in the world. do you realize that, sir? >> i knew i was assuming a lot of risk.
>> and i'm struck by that word -- that phrase, do not worry, that you addressed to your dad. >> was your dad a worrier? >> he did serve. a different military though. >> and he would worry if you were putting yourself up against the president of the united states, is that right? >> he deeply worried about it. in his context, there was the ultimate risk. >> why do you have confidence that you can do that? tell your dad not to worry? >> congressman, because this is america. this is the country i've served and defended, that all my brothers have served and here, right matters. >> thank you, sir. yield back. >> on that note, we'll take another break. coming up, what lieutenant colonel vindman chose to wear to the hearing today. that became a topic of conversation and even glancing ridicule. we'll ask a retired four star army general what he made of it all. deadline is only days away.
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mr. vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know whistle-blower? >> ranking member, it's lieutenant colonel vindman, please. >> during today's hearing, republican congressman and air force veteran chris stewart of utah went on to ask lieutenant colonel vindman about that exchange with congressman nunes. >> lieutenant colonel vindman, i see you're wearing your dress uniform. knowing that's not the uniform of the day, do you normally wear a suit to the white house? i think it is a great reminder of your military service. i too come from my military family. these are my father's air force wings. he's a pilot in world war ii. five of my father's sons served in the military. as one military family to another, thank you to you and your brothers for your service. your example here, very quickly, i'm curious when ranking member nunes referred to you as mr.
vindman you quickly corrected him, wanted to be called lieutenant colonel vindman. do you always insist on civilians calling you by your rank? mr. stewart, representative stewart, i'm in my uniform wearing my military rank. i just thought it was appropriate to stick with that. >> i'm sure -- >> i don't believe you did. but the attacks that i've had in the press, in twitter, have kind of eliminated the fact that either marginalized me as a military officer or -- >> listen. i'm just telling you that the ranking member meant no disrespect to you. >> i believe that. >> with us to talk about all this tonight, general barry mccaffrey, four star general, heavily decorated combat veteran of vietnam and one of the ground commanders for the u.s. in the gulf war. general mccaffrey, i wanted to hear you out on this topic. wearing his dress uniform into a hearing today. though civilian garb when he works in the west wing.
>> yeah, well, look, it was very moving testimony. an immigrant family, patriotic, contributing their boys to defense of the nation. as been pointed out, this fellow is not only a combat entry officer, wounded in action, ranger parachutist batch. he's also one of our elite foreign area specialists. it takes around five years to produce them. they have to be very bright, harvard graduate school, multilingual. he is a real asset. he worked for joe dunford, and helps write the russian strategy in the pentagon. he was then seconded to the nse staff which is a collection of the brightest people in our government. so i think when he saw something wrong going on, he said to himself, look. brian, every soldier who sees something illegal or unethical
can go to the inspector general, can go to the staff judge advocate, can write their congressman, they can demand open door hearings with the commander one above the problem level, and they can't be accused of disloyalty for doing that. they're upholding army values. and that's what lieutenant colonel vindman was doing. i thought he is an honorable, impressive guy. what congressman nunes was doing deliberately was being, trying to isolate him from appearing as a member of the armed forces. the most respected institution in american society. so nunes did it deliberately. and then i think they sent chris stewart out there, very impressive, air force officer, author, successful businessman, they said send stewart out there to try to knock him back. i was very proud of this officer for responding the way he did.
>> general, i correctly remembered today, you came on this broadcast when h.r. mcmaster was named national security adviser and publicly advised him not to wear his uniform on the job in the west wing. tell our viewers why you felt that way. >> well, i went beyond that. i felt it was inappropriate for him to stay in the military. i think i faced the same kind of question when i became the director for the clinton administration. some argued about me staying in uniform. i said don't do that. by and large, congress deals with and views active members of the arm forces in a very different light. you have sort of a limit ability to act in a political manner. so i thought h.r. made a mistake. he was then a subservant officer to the secretary of defense. he was subject to ucmj. it didn't make a lot of sense. but the active staff in the
white house, a couple thousand people work over there. and many are military. communications officers, medical, transportation, but the the nsc staff itself in many cases are the brightest foreign service cia and military officers we have. and by and large, they work in civilian clothes but make no mistake, they're still active duty military officers. >> i also wanted to get you on record. the president gave out pardons this past weekend to three members of the u.s. navy. the navy going against his wishes has decided to remove one of them as a navy s.e.a.l. which means taking away their trident pin. that's what you're struggling to earn at the end of navy s.e.a.l. buds training. they want to kick out three senior officers who were over him in management. they've taken away 154 tridents
since about the last ten-year period. what do you make of this? >> well, look, the armed forces award for 15 years. we've had 60,000 killed and wounded. the special ops community, including air force, army, navy and marines has been out and alone in the face of constant danger. i think they're out of control. the navy put a two star admiral collins in to try to unscrew this mess and get them back under navy discipline. so i'm not surprised they're doing it. it will be a very difficult situation. the president of the united states gave legal orders to reverse uniform code of military justice actions. that's a law passed by the congress. we didn't make it up in the pentagon. the president doesn't get a chance to change it at will. so we've never seen anything like this in the history of the country, to have a commander in
chief directly intervene at a granular level on individual cases. in the case of one of these officers, he hadn't even gone to court-martial trial yet. so again, it is preposterous what's going on. the navy cno is under great pressure right now to maintain that superb service and their values which include don't kill prisoners. >> from the pacific northwest tonight. our thanks to general barry mccaffrey as always for coming on the broadcast. and coming up for us, one of the congressional reporters covering these hearings from inside the committee room. that made for a long day today. and again tomorrow. but he's here with us tonight.
and i decided to keep track of what ambassador sondland was doing. i didn't necessarily always act on things gordon suggested he believed were important. >> so that was a senior nsc official casting doubt ahead of tomorrow morning's testimony, from eu ambassador gordon sondland mr. pomorrison and ambassador kurt volker both testified they had concerns. they stood out for their tone. republicans will try to paint it as a political crony who only wanted to curry favor with trump. congressional report for bli
politico today and in the with us tonight. andrew, it seems that sondland had a tough job and getting tough today. >> that's right. sondland is a crucial yet a flawed witness at the same time. he's crucial because he's essentially the connective tissue running through all of this witness testimony that we have heard ever since he came in for his closed-door deposition. but he's a flawed witness in that both sides, democrats and republicans, have pointed out that he has serious credibility issues. he already had to amend his testimony and disclose that conversation he had with a senior ukrainian official about gordon sondland omitted namely the fact that he brought up the bidens and burisma as conditions for getting that military aid at a white house meeting between president trump and president zelensky. he's going to have to a lot to confirm tomorrow and republicans
and democrats are going to hammer him for it. >> and of course he is not the only witness. can you preview for us the afternoon session? >> that's right. so laura cooper, who is a senior pentagon official, will testify alongside david hale, who is essentially the number 3 official at the state department. republicans wanted david hale to testify. his deposition transcript was released last night. it had a lot of interesting details in it. but i think what democrats are going to want to draw out from his testimony is essentially the efforts within the state department to defend or not defend ambassador yovanovitch from the smear campaign that rudy giuliani was running against her. obviously, that was a subject of the testimony last week but i think chairman schiff felt like he needed to throw another bone to the republicans to give them one of their witnesses that they requested. laura cooper will be able to speak directly to this military aid holdup, when she found out about it, how she found out about it, and how she worked with other officials across the government to convince the white house to essentially release the hold on aid and allow it to flow to ukraine.
>> final question. there is a seating section i note in the hearing room for members of congress not on the committee. you were in there all day. how many of them at any given time are stopping by to take in all or part of the testimony? >> yeah, very few, brian. there are actually three rows right behind the press section that are reserved for members of congress. they have signs on them explicitly stating that. but only really -- i see the president's most vociferous defenders like mark meadows and lee zeldin and andy biggs, the chairman of the house freedom caucus. they're there for every minute of the hearing. i barely see any democrats showing up. and you know, a lot of them have excuses. obviously, it's a busy day on capitol hill all the time. a lot of them sit on other committees that have hearings and meetings and obviously there's votes going on. all throughout the day as well. but i've been struck throughout this entire process, brian, to see so few members of congress actually show up and attend the hearings. it's usually been the president's defenders like the ones i just mentioned that have been in there for essentially every minute of the hearing. >> well, these are long days.
we really appreciate you joining us late at night. andrew desiderio, our thanks. and when we come back, the president talks about his health and blames the media for worrying his family about it over the weekend. rt of the team building the most powerful 5g experience for america. it's 5g ultra wideband-- --for massive capacity-- --and ultra-fast speeds. almost 2 gigs here in minneapolis. that's 25 times faster than today's network in new york city. so people from midtown manhattan-- --to downtown denver-- --can experience what our 5g can deliver. (woman) and if verizon 5g can deliver performance like this in these places... it's pretty crazy. ...just imagine what it can do for you. ♪ there's a company that's talked than me: jd power.people 448,134 to be exact. they answered 410 questions in 8 categories about vehicle quality. and when they were done, chevy earned more j.d. power quality awards across
cars, trucks and suvs than any other brand over the last four years. so on behalf of chevrolet, i want to say "thank you, real people." you're welcome. we're gonna need a bigger room. the medicare enrollment deadline is only days away. with so many changes, do you know if your plan is still the right fit? having the wrong plan may cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket, and that's why i love healthmarkets, your insurance marketplace. with their new fitscore, they compare thousands of plans from national insurance companies to find the right medicare plan that fits you. call or visit healthmarkets to find your fitscore today. in minutes, you can find out if your current plan is the right fit or if there's another one that can get you extra coverage or help save you money. best of all, their service is completely free. does your plan have $0 copays, $0 deductibles, and $0 premiums? if not, maybe it's not the right fit. does it include dental and vision coverage?
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on a saturday afternoon. when he tweeted later that it was the first phase of his annual physical, to be completed in 2020, that didn't sound at all familiar or even plausible to most of the doctors consulted by the news media. the president's annual physical usually takes most of the day. it's usually posted on his schedule far in advance for starters. so it's also true that rumors started almost immediately including some brand name news outlets, saying that the president had perhaps suffered some sort of discomfort, perhaps even heart trouble. then last night came the letter from his white house navy doctor saying in effect nothing to see here, the guy's cholesterol is 165 and so on. and then today the president brought it up. >> one other thing i thought i'd bring it up while we're here. i went for a physical on saturday. my wife said oh, darling, that's wonderful, because i had some extra time.
and i came back, my wife said, darling, are you okay? what's wrong? they're reporting you may have had a heart attack. i said, why did i have a heart attack? because you went to walter reed medical center. that's where we go when we get the physicals. i said i was only there for a very short period of time. i went, did a very routine, just a piece of it. the rest of it takes place in january. did a very routine physical. got back home. and i get greeted with the news that we understand you had a heart attack. i was called by people in public relations. sir, are you okay? i said okay from what? the word is you had a heart attack. cnn said you may have had a heart attack, you had massive chest pains. you went to the hospital. these people are sick. they're sick. >> but again and for the record, the president says he was not the person who was sick. and now we've heard from him. that is our broadcast on this tuesday night. look at the time. we'll be back here first thing tomorrow morning for day four of
the public hearings and the start of the sondland testimony in the morning. thank you for being here with us tonight and good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. it's another day in the public impeachment hearings, and this morning, we may hear from the most anticipated witness yet, eu ambassador gordon sondland. he may be one of the few witnesses able to confirm that president trump wanted ukraine to investigate the bidens in exchange for military aid. and has testimony follows a marathon day on capitol hill. we heard from four witnesses who delivered testimony that was deeply damaging to the president's case that the july 25th phone call with the leader of ukraine was perfect.