tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 2, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
the country. i think it's wonderful. you can also go thank a veteran in person when they're alive. maybe take the chance to say thank you. >> absolutely. that's a wonderful gesture. so great that 1,000 people showed up. there's a mysterious and urgent briefing on capitol hill from the inspector general. our live coverage continues now. top of the hour. good morning everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> as the impeachment inquiry moves into the second week so does the face off between congress and the executive branch. today there will be a private briefing on capitol hill. there's no word yet on what the inspector general plans to speak about. the congressional aid calls the ig's urgent request highly unusual. >> that will happen as mike pompeo is stone walling congress
resisting requests for documents. democratic leaders finding back warning pompeo against obstructing the investigation accusing him of having a conflict of interest since he failed to mention being on the call between the ukraine and president trump. >> the president is echoing right wing media outlets comparing the impeachment process to an illegal coup. we're seeing that word a lot. we'll hear from house speaker nancy pelosi and adam schiff in the next hour. we're covering all the angles this morning. let's begin with cnn reporter lauren fox. this is an unusual briefing on the hill by the inspector general. do we have any idea what the subject of the briefing is? >> reporter: we're trying to get
more information about the inspector general is going to talk to congressional staff members in this briefing. when the news came down yesterday, it was surprising. people on capitol hill were caught off guard saying it was highly unusual. saying this cryptic message from the state department ig was p strange. potentially there are documents related to the state department and the ukraine. one of the things we've been watching is how quickly the developments is coming. it's different than investigations we've been watching for months. yesterday mike pompeo was saying congressional leaders were bullying members of his department. democrats fired back saying it's another stalling tactic. we've seen this before. they are trying to move as
expeditiously as possible. you can expect more rapid developments today. jim? >> one of the witnesses called the former ambassador to the ukraine was supposed to testify today. that's delayed. any indication that doesn't happen or is this just a delay? >> reporter: it appears to be a delay. she's going to testify next week. we also know that kurt vol ker is going to be coming before capitol hill tomorrow to talk behind closed doors. this feels different than stone walling we've seen in that members of congress are getting somewhere in some of these depositions. >> that's a good point, lauren. let's go to melissa bell. she's in rome. that's where the secretary of state is. he spoke to reporters earlier.
he addressed this fight with democrats and just for the first time actually said, yes, he was on that july 25th call between the president of the ukraine and president trump. >> reporter: that's right. all eyes clearly on what the secretary of state had to say in particular the accusations in that joint statement by the house committee chairman that he was stone walling and getting in the way of the investigation. very clearly warning mike pompeo that any obstruction to their inquiry would constitute an illegality. this was his reply. >> we won't tolerate folks on capitol hill bullying state employees. it's unacceptable. it's not something i'll permit to happen. >> reporter: he said he would abide by his constitutional
duty, but all the time saying he didn't like the methods deployed so far and he would be protecting the officials at the state department. no great clarity on what he intends to do next and how he intends to proceed with regards to that cooperation. perhaps the most important question is whether he had or had not been on that call. that of course goes to the heart of the accusations on the part of the committee chairman that essentially he is facing a conflict of interest as we head into the inquiry. this is what he had to say. >> i was on the phone call. the phone call was in the context of -- i've been secretary of state for a year and a half. i know precisely what the american policy is with respect to ukraine. it's been remarkably consistent. we will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes. >> reporter: now what he would not be drawn on was whether or
not he had heard any red flags, whether there was anything in that conversation of july 25th that he was a party to that had raised alarm bells in his mind. he wouldn't be drawn on the question of what the inspector general intends to tell congress tonight. he wouldn't be drawn of whether he knew about it or he knew about the contents of the documents. >> it was a remarkable moment. him admitting he was on the call belies his earlier statements. melissa bell, thank you. plenty to dissect here. let's bring in our panel. there's so much to unwrap. ellie, i want to go to a legal point here. pompeo's protests yesterday about the request for state department employees to testify seemed like stone walling.
a lot of those witnesses are saying we'll go anyway, regardless of what he say us. what's the potential for the administration to follow his earlier playbook saying we're not going to cooperation? >> i think the administration is we're fighting the subpoenas part two. that was trump's favorite quote when the subpoenas came earlier. that strategy worked. they managed to slow things down. now the only witness he ever got in front of the cameras was corey lewandowski. i think adam schiff needs to take a hard lesson from that, not get slow played and stone walled. going to the courts will take forever, way too long. if you look at the cover letters and the subpoenas, schiff has signalled what they're going to do. we're going to hold an adverse inference. if you don't respond, we'll
assume the worst. we'll assume you're trying to hide something. >> jackie, it's interesting that the ig, the state department ig, this is a different ig, is going before congress today. we just learned that he's going to provide staff with copies of documents related to the state department and the ukraine. one could surmise will they say anything about giuliani's assertion he was ordered by the state department to have these conversations. mike pompeo said you didn't give my staff the appropriate technical forms in advance and you're intimidating them. what does it mean the ig has requested this and is turning over documents? >> i don't know if we know yet, poppy. we know this is unusual. we know it's sudden that this happened. we don't know what they're going
to discuss. what we do know, we've seen the text messages between the special envoy and giuliani. we know there are two former state department employees that are going to testify. to your earlier point there's not a lot the administration can do once someone no longer works for them. we don't know if we're going to find out what happened in those meetings. certainly a lot of questions, but what we do know is pretty concerning. >> this is some new reporting here from cnn. doesn't answer all the questions. it gives a little more detail. laura, the state department inspector general provides documents related to ukraine under the inspector general act. do we have any sense whether these will be exculpatory for state department officials or
concerning in terms of what those documents show? >> again to jackie's point that's what we don't know. the staff that was called to this briefing doesn't know and has described it as being cryptically worded. there's some speculation, again speculation. i want to repeat that. it could have to do with pompeo's involvement given the fact this notice came so quickly after pompeo issued his statement. a lot of us are in the dark as to what the inspector general is going to be saying. >> let's wait for the facts and make all judgments. >> always good to do that. ellie, pompeo says you guys are intimidating and bullying my staff. house democrats respond and say no, actually what you're doing is illegal and you're obstructing the process. is it illegal what pompeo is
doing? is there clear obstruction in your mind? >> it has to be case by case. there's a bit of hypocrisy between the president saying people who provide information to whistle-blowers should be treated like spies in the old days versus a lawful subpoena as bullying. people can contest subpoenas. mike pompeo can raise legal objections to subpoenas. maybe it's too broad. on the face of that subpoena i don't see anything wrong with it. >> it's up to each person, right? >> yes, particularly as laura just said if they don't work for the government anymore. congress has subpoena power. for pompeo to say this is bullying and we're not dealing with it is obstructive. >> one of the consistent attacks has been on the whistle-blower's credibility, but also did the whistle-blower follow laws, this whole conspiracy theory that the
rules were changed before which has been rebunked by the inspector general. i want to read this. this person appears to have followed the laws and ought to be heard out and protected. when it comes to whether someone qualifies as a whistle-blower, the distinction between first and secondhand knowledge is not legal. >> the fact that grassley said that -- >> yes, as often happens contradictory information does not necessarily lead people to change their views. >> right. that statement from grassley is not surprising given he's been an advocate of whistle-blowers and trying to shield them and making sure they are taken care of. again, it's unique in that the vast majority of republicans have parroted white house talking points, have parroted trump's talking points in trying
to discredit the whistle-blower and also trying to peddle in conspiracy theories that discredit congress' inquiry. >> the other advantage of grassley's statement is that it's true. >> isn't that refreshing? >> true does not always win the day. >> here's evidence of that, jackie. the president calls this all a coup, by the way. the definition of a coup a sudden, vie leapt and illegal seizure of power from government. look at these new numbers. it asked people do you think donald trump probably did or probably did not mention an investigation of the biden family during his call of the ukrainian president. only 40% of republicans believe trump mentioned this in the call despite seeing this in the transcript and despite the president saying he did.
where does that leave us? >> they've been engaging in such a misinformation campaign. perhaps they didn't read the transcript like leader kevin mccarthy didn't which was evident. this is why the administration is doing everything they can to discredit this person. we had the acting director of national intelligence last week say that this person was credible and followed or indicated this person was credible and followed the procedures they needed to follow. listen to the facts, not the hyperbole. >> good advice. >> thank you very much, jackie, laura and ellie. we appreciate it. still to come the ambassador who resigned a day after the whistle-blower complaint went
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we could hear new revelations when kurt volker testifies tomorrow. this comes in the wake after he quit friday. what will he say? that's anyone's guess. we know he's mentioned numerous times in the whistle-blower complaint. quote, state department officials including ambassadors had spoken with mr. giuliani in an attempt to contain the damage and that the ambassadors sought to help ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the different messages they were receiving from official u.s. channels on the one hand and from mr. giuliani on the other. that prompted rudy giuliani to reveal text messages of some of his conversations with volker which giuliani said the state department knew all along he was
meeting with these officials. josh rogan is with me. you make an argument he was meeting on behalf on the american people and not as giuliani is asserting. giuliani said volker should step forward and explain what he did. you have a pretty good sense of what he will testify. what is it? >> my reporting is based on people with direct knowledge of his activities over this time period and what he plans to testify to. basically the ambassador is going to testify he was trying to manage an erratic president and a rogue president's personal attorney who were mucking around in ukrainian politics. he is the special envoy for ukraine and knew this was a problem that the ukrainian
government had to deal with and he was trying to fix it. basically his theory was if he could just get rudy's and zelensky's advicsers that perhas he could convince them that zelensky was someone good to work with and help -- >> in the face of russia. >> exactly. it's not clear that rudy or trump was interested in doing that. they seemed to be according to the whistle-blower complaint be more interested in pushing their own agenda and the president's political interests. >> you write volker knew the risks when he signed up to help manage the u.s./ukraine relationship. here's what rudy giuliani said last night on fox.
>> you showed us a number of text messages, one pushing you to meet with the ukrainian president. are you concerned about his testimony? >> no. he didn't push me. he asked me. push goes a little too far. he asked me to do it. i said yes after a day's conversation. i know they were reluctant to admit they asked me to do it. i was very happy i kept 13 texts that lay out the conversations in great detail. >> you make the argument that rudy's argument doesn't make sense. why? >> for one thing, what rudy is saying here is technically true. ambassador volker asked him to meet with zelensky's people. it's misleading because it assumes this was the beginning of rudy's intervention. that's not the case. everybody knew giuliani had been mucking around in ukraine politics for several months. we knew that because giuliani
was talking about it publicly. he talked about it on the record to "the new york times." he was tweeting about it. he was meeting with prosecutors trying to push biden narratives and this is something in the know were trying to deal with. it only became public to most of the american audience when the whistle-blower complaint came to light. to pretend the state department initiated this out of the clear blue sky doesn't pass the laugh test. volker was dealing with the problem rudy created. >> you have his resignation on top of john bolton's resigning. >> that's right.
what really suffers is the policy they're supposed to be working on which is u.s. leadership and ukrainian support and no one is talking about that today. >> you are. josh rogan thank you. >> do you know what's interesting is you see the splits within the ranks? >> totally. >> giuliani lodging some mild accusations the state department's way. volker will tell a different story. >> it will be. >> watch it folks. president obama once joked republicans would not be pleased with his border security plan unless it came with a moat filled with alligators. >> he joked. >> now border patrol is saying that president trump suggested that. much more on that including other suggestions the president has made for the border. that's coming up. .
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migrants. this time he had a solution. white house advisers listened he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with mexico by noon the next day. advisers feared this would trap american tourists in mexico and create an economic meltdown. yet they knew how much the presidentss zeal to stop migration. >> the article says privately the president talked about filling the border wall with water filling it with snakes and alligators. he wanted the wall electrifieel. the president backed off when staffers told him it was illegal. he suggested they shoot migrants
in the legs to slow them down. that's not allowed either. >> because it's against the law. >> cnn's washington correspondent joe johns is at the white house. is the white house denying this? >> reporter: they haven't said much, but there's a lot going on. you have to imagine in your mind the secretary of state, the chief of staff, jared kushner, the homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen in a room with the president, the picture this story paints is that the president is raging because he can't get anything done that he wants to. one example here he looks at them and says you're making me look look an idiot. he's shouting according to this book. he throws in some profanity and said i ran on this.
it's my issue. certainly is his issue. the president made some outlandish claims during the campaign including making mexico pay for the wall. >> the president suggesting an alligator filled moat along the border is remarkable. it's also remarkable the response, is it not, from aides who instead of attempting to convince the president otherwise, did a cost estimate on some of these things? >> reporter: there certainly were cost estimates. i asked about cost estimates among the president's economic advisers how much it would cost to shut down the wall. it was always we'll get back to you. it's also interesting i think the way the president was lashing out according to this book. it didn't matter who it was. even jared kushner, as a matter
of fact, the president's son-in-law took some of this on. the president says all you care about is your friends in mexico because jared kushner had developed some relationships with people on the other side of the border. the president said i've had it. i want it done at noon tomorrow, which fortunately didn't happen. they were able to ask him to at least give them a week to figure something else out. >> okay. joe johns, thank you very much for that reporting. this is just in to cnn. russian president vladimir putin responding to the scandal over president trump's call with the president of ukraine saying moscow asked him to release details of his 2018 conversation in he'lsinkhelsinki. fred plankin joins us from
moscow. fred, do you see the president trolling, saying release the conversation perhaps because he knows it might be embarrassing? >> i assume trolling the u.s. president, trolling the u.s. government but in a certain way standing by president trump's side. it's very interesting. he had a panel he was a part of at the russian energy week where he made these remarks. he say -- he's a former kgb officers -- many things could come to light anyway. he said with the he'lsinki protocol there, he said to them to release them because he believes there's nothing in there damaging to president trump and the russians. another interesting point i picked up is he was asked what
he thought of the phone call that president trump had and the transcripts that came out with the ukrainian president zelensky, he said he felt there was nothing wrong with it. it was interesting to hear. it was almost the exact same wording that president trump used. he said the russians viewed it -- he believed this whole thing about impeachment was wrong. he said people keep bringing up nixon, but that was different. then vladimir putin said he believed there was nothing wrong in the phone calls and then went into trolling the united states and said i'll tell you a secret. of course we're going to meddle in the 2020 election. of course people in that room took that to be a room. of course we know from the past couple years and from all the agony that that's caused in the united states and for the u.s. that cannot be a laughing matter. to a certain degree trolling president trump, but trolling the u.s. in general as well. >> you're right, oftentimes the
talking points are similar between what you hear from the president and the russian president. ahead a burning question today. what is so urgent that the state department's inspector general asked for a briefing with congressional staffers right away. that's going to happen this afternoon on capitol hill. we'll talk about that ahead. d n. but excedrin pulls me back in a way others don't. and it relieves my symptoms fast for real migraine relief. and it relieves my symptoms fast welcome to emirates, mr jones. just sit back, relax and let us entertain you. with over 4,000 channels of entertainment, including the latest movies and box sets from around the world, we even have live sports and news channels and your free wi-fi will start shortly enjoy your flight mr jones. world's best inflight entertainment.
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just this morning secretary of state mike pompeo taking questions from reporters in italy confirming he was on the july 25th phone call in which president trump pressured the ukrainian president to investigate the bidens. this comes as democrats on capitol hill and pompeo are fighting as to whether state department officials will testify. two diplomats named in the whistle-blower complaint are planning to go ahead. kurt volker set for tomorrow, the former ambassador to the ukraine who was set to testify today. joining me now steven pfeiffer who is a former ambassador to ukraine. i want to take a reference to a
reporter we had on earlier, josh rogan. he said that volker's testimony will focus on his efforts to contain the damage that this president was doing to america's ukraine policy. that's a remarkable thing for a special enjoy to ukraine to say. what does that tell you about the state of foreign policy under trump specifically as it relates to ukraine? >> if you're sitting in ukraine over the last seven or eight months, you've seen two american foreign policy approaches. one conducted by ambassador volker and our diplomats on the ground which is aimed at promoting american interests and the second conducted by rudy giuliani which has been aimed at the president's personal interests bolstering his campaign for 2020. that's a problem. if you read the memorandum of
the july 25th phone conversation, president trump is not doing the nation's business there. he's not asking ukraine to be supportive at the u.n. he's not asking zelensky how the conflict in eastern ukraine is going. he's talking about crowd strike and this long discredited story about vice president biden that are solely tied to his personal interests. >> does it strike you that the personal effort here is trumping, sorry to use that word, the national effort here? the president has his attorney general now traveling the word. he's going to italy, australia, pursuing some of these conspiracy theories. it appears that is winning the day. >> this is what would worry me because, again, if you're an american diplomat and the ukraine leadership is hearing from somebody like rudy giuliani who is very close to president
trump and of course the ukrainians are trying to establish a solid relationship with president trump, the concern for the american diplomat is that ukraine is going to be paying attention to what giuliani wants, as opposed to american interests. i believe there's a sit risk for ukraine. since 1991 when ukraine gained independence ukraine has gained strong support in congress. if ukraine becomes a political football in our 2020 election, that could be endangered. >> ukraine is today at war with russian. russian has lopped off part of the country and has invaded and hold territories in eastern ukraine. more than 13,000 people have died in this war. the president did not once in that phone call mention russian in his conversation with the ukrainian president.
i wonder what signal russian takes from that? does it take they can get away with what they want with this president? >> there was no mention of the conflict, no mention of president support. it was a strange conversation. i spent time at the white house in the clinton administration and you would never see a memorandum of a conversation like this that was focussed on a president's personal interest, not on what you're trying to achieve for the country. >> just briefly on those personal interests because as you know the president continues to claim that vice president biden as vice president fired a prosecutor in the ukraine to help his son. you tweeted the most concise response to that. i'll quote it. utter bull -- he threatened to withhold a loan guarantee. you note all of europe wanted him fired because he wasn't
doing enough. why can't that break through the fog of misinformation that this president is spreading and his allies are spreading? >> i don't know. i think it's precisely that. it's trying to create a false narrative. back in 2015, 2016 everyone i knew in the u.s. government, the ukrainians i talked to, the world bank, europeans all thought the prosecutor was not doing his job and deserved to be moved out. everybody i talked to thought withholding the $1 billion loan guarantee was smart to achieve that end. more over there was no investigation into hunter biden. this is created out of fool's cloth. i think they think if they say it long enough people will believe it. >> facts are stubborn things. thank you very much.
>> someone wise once said that. you're wiser and you said it again. ahead a former dallas police officer convicted of murdering her neighbor is facing life in prison. how much time will amber guyger spend behind bars? we'll take you live to dallas. o- at no extra cost. no excuses now. renew active. only from unitedhealthcare medicare.
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just how much time she will spend in prison for fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor in his home. geiger was convicted of murder yesterday in the death. she shot him in his apartment after mistaking that apartment for her own there so with the murder conviction, she now faces up to life in prison. our ed lavandara once again is live in dallas surrounding the developments. this was a big question. was she potentially getting a lesser charge here? no, she is convicted of murder so what's next? >> boy, it was a shocking verdict, poppy. now the sentencing phase, that's what we're in the middle of. >> reporter: as you mentioned, she could get as little as five years. all that depends on the testimony and the jury will decide her fate. prosecutors starting putting on witnesses yesterday right after the guilty verdict was read in court. one of the first people to testify was his mother who talked about what a roller
coaster her life has become since her son was murdered. >> because of his i.t. background, he assisted people in setting up their computers. he told me he had set up a computer so that they could have skype contact with their children. . >> so bo jean's mother there sharing an next dietz of the charity work and philanthropic work. he is described as a beacon of light in his community, clearly trying to get the jury are i to sympathize what the family has been through during the course of the last year. one of the things prosecutors shared is a post amber guyger posted herself. this is in addition to her testimony from last week, we're trying to determine if she is going to testify to try to
minimize her prison sentence. but if she does testify in the sentencing phase, she will have to answer those questions, which we imagine will be scathing questions from prosecutors as to what drove her to post some of those things online. so the sentencing phase here will continue probably in about 45 minutes or so here in the same dallas courthouse, where she was convicted yesterday. jim and poppy. >> such a sad useless loss of life there. ed, good to have you on the story. we are waiting for house speaker nancy pelosi and the intelligence chairman adam schiff, who addressed reporters. this is the democrat's impeachment inquiry on president trump enters its second week. we will bring those comments to you live. that's some great paint. ♪ that's some great paint. behr ultra, ranked #1 in customer satisfaction with interior paints. great paint, new low price. starting at $29.98. exclusively at the home depot.
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now you can take control of your home wifi and get a notification the instant someone new joins your network... only with xfinity xfi. download the xfi app today. good wednesday morning to you. i'm jim scuitto. >> i'm poppy harlow. in just a few minutes, we will hear from house speaker nancy pelosi and house intelligence committee adam schiff as the state department pushes back on related demands into the ongoing impeachment inquiry. the inspector general plans to show staffers copies of documents related to the state department and ukraine. this