tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 15, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hi there. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for beak with me. this is cnn. jaw-dropping revelations happening on a day that has plenty of potential for more big headlines to drop. what we know on capitol hill. members of congress returned to work after some faced testy town halls during recess. rudy giuliani and defense secretary esper facing subpoena deadlines to produce documents and going for house committees
conducting impeachment inquiries. what's more, kent is testifying despite a direct attempt by the white house to stop him from doing so. this is happening as we learn more about the explosive testimony from another key witness in the impeachment inquiry. president trump's former top adviser on russia fiona hill detailed a shadowed foreign policy run by rudy giuliani and others accord togz a source. a source says hill described how president trump's then national security adviser john bolton was so alarmed what was going on he pushed for an attorney to get involved. start there with cnn's political correspondent sara murray and so let's start with fiona hill and all of her testimony, nine hours' worth, yesterday, in washington, d.c. what did she tell the house committees? >> reporter: right. the president's top advisers on russia and laid out the concerns in the trump administration
about these various back channels of foreign policy including rudy giuliani. talked how her boss john bolton referred to giuliani as a hand grenade who was going to get everyone blown up because of his efforts. she laid out for lawmakers the concerns she had and bolton then the national security advisers had about the way u.s. policies with ukraine was being conducted and believed there was wrongdoing going on there. people bringing um investigations. the biden investigations and bolton told her go and report this to the national security council lawyer. now, so much of this, brooke, you know, drives back to rudy giuliani and his efforts and the way he really bought in to this campaign against the ukraine ambassador maria yovanovitch, went seeking dirt on the bidens and put this in the president's ear. all of this stuff in the run-up to the president's call with the ukrainian president on july 25th. but rudy giuliani wasn't the only one who was essentially
doing his own version of diplomacy. hill also told lawmakers gordon sondland, u.s. ambassador to the european union and mick mulvaney acting chief of staff essentially running a rogue operation when it came to u.s. policy with ukraine. she told lawmakers according to sources her boss john bolton said it was akin to a drug deal the way they operated this and pointed son lund was in direct communication with the president. more details about the alarm bells going off inside the a administration in the weeks leading to do this phone call between president trump and ukrainian president zelensky. >> thank you. and in the impeachment inquiry arriving to give his testimony, mr. kent and getting a little of the details what house committee members are hearing from him. we go to cnn correspondent manu raju. what is mr. kent saying? >> reporter: well, i just spoke to a couple of democrats who
just left this hearing room and they're contending what george kent has been testifying to is essentially backing up what fiona hill said yesterday. fiona hill, former russian adviser for president trump who raised concerns along with john bolton as what was happening in the, before that phone call between president trump and president zelensky and concerns about this apparent effort to urge investigations into the president's political rival joe biden. i just asked a couple of members, i didn't want to get into specifics given it's behind closed doors, but claims this backs up what they heard from fiona hill yesterday and another member, asked about the whistle-blower complaint. how much does this back up what they're hearing from the whistle-blower? and he said every witness has provided further backup for the initial story provided by the whistle-blower. republicans so far have mostly declined to comment, criticizing what they believe, and they're
calling a sham process. they want this, they say, to be an open -- not a vote to formalize an impeachment inquiry but a lot of the questions today have had to do about some of the emails that have already been turned over to congress including emails mr. kent wrote raising concerns about the role that rudy giuliani played going after the event. the ukrainian ambassador marie yovanovitch and kent was concerned about those efforts apparently. an apparent smear campaign is against her, raised concerns with senior state department officials to not try to take her out of that post saying the allegations are not founded. so those are a lot of the questions they're center going over about rudy giuliani's role, concerns that mr. kent may have had. rear lea we're learning more dame detai expect it to go throughout the day. >> as you get more information, we'll pass it along. manu, thank you so much on ongoing testimony. a lot happening. let's take time to pick it
apart. jamie gangel back with us today, our cnn schedule correspondent, and a form e spokeswoman for the u.s. mission to the united nations. ladies, thank you both for being with me, and hagar, start with the fiona hill testimony from yesterday and the quotes. right? this is what she says, the former national security advisers john bolton said. "giuliani is a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up." "i am not part of any drug deal they are cooking up." a. what do you think of this shadow foreign policy huddle between giuliani, sondland and mulvaney and the fact the ambassador is even talking to the president like this and, b., that it's john bolton who had a real problem with it? >> very interesting, actually. it doesn't surprise me that somebody like john bolton would see the problem in this type of behavior.
right? end of the day, no matter what people think of his political beliefs or his foreign policy standing, he was a career service diplomat. this is somebody who had a long experience in national security and so he was very easily able to identify when something was awry. something led to ieither krupss fishy. and the fact you have political elites, political appointees ov security process, up until, certainly in my experience, up until this point there was a sanctity about not abusing foreign policy processes for political or personal gain. >> calling it a circus now? it's a circus? >> absolutely a circus and the issue with that is that you have adversaries watching that. see that divisiveness and see
when people aren't in line and they're not unified at the national security council and take advantage of that. >> hmm. jamie, just staying on john bolton, what do you think of his role in all of this and do you think he will end up on capitol hill and testifying? >> i would be surprised if he wasn't asked to testify, and's this has to be the worst nightmare for the white house, because he did not leave on good terms and was a firsthand witness to a lot of this that was going on. when you hear words like "rogue," "grenade," this is not a good, a good sign. so i am guessing the democrats are going to want to call him. the other thing we're seeing here is, i call it revenge of the deep state. we've heard donald trump talk about how he doesn't like the deep state, but what you're seeing with someone like george kent today, fiona hill, other witnesses to come, are career
high-level officials who have been watching all of this behind the scenes, have not been able to speak, but are now defying the white house, defying the state department, and putting together a mosaic of what's been going on. before that phone call ever happened. >> yeah. >> they know a lot. >> they know a lot. >> and they're talking. >> right. >> hagar, in one part of fiona hill's testimony she talked about how bolton basically had her be his eyes and ears in one of these ukraine meetings at the white house and after she reported back he actually had her call john eisenberg, deputy white house counsel for the security council and left me wondering could bolton have done nor if he was that concerned and is that not the same john eisenberg who instructed lawyers to put those call readouts in that vault? >> right. i actually don't -- i think what bolton did was fine.
could he have done a bit more? perhaps. but he actually pursued the right policy. when i was at the national security council and certainly any of the agencies i worked for, if you saw any kind of problem telling the inside counsel was the way to go. having some kind of record. right? whether it was -- for what they did, reaching out to counsel was the right maneuver. the counsel, h.r., many avenues to purchase see and they did the right thing and had it on the record. i do thinks that wa where it landed. i wouldn't be surprised now given that bolton is out if he's not going to end up being a thorn in their side because there's a lot he knows and a lot he was aware of. i just don't think there was enough time there for him to have escalated it. could have maybe escalated it further had he stayed there longer. inner eterms 69 counc s of the play an important role until any government agency and usually a role that serves as some kind of solace. if you have a problem, to me it looked like fiona hill and john
bolton by going to the lawyer, it was a little cry for help. one hand, cover themselves, make it clear that they had nothing to do with this and that is very par for the course for a lot of government officials if they see something awry. make sure people know they're not involved personally and secondly, a little cry for help. >> what about congress? what about republicans? are i don't finger on the pulse of so many of these gop leaders and with all of this testimony swirling, they're back in washington. heard from constituents. a testy town hall. what are congressional republicans really feeling behind closed doors? >> they've come back now and one very senior source said to me that the momentum really feels as if it's in the democrats' court. the testimony from fiona hill, the fact that that's leaked out, that more and more people are defying, that's a concern. the other thing i think that's interesting is, this is being
done behind closed doors. we don't know what -- unless lawyers or surrogates or someone is leaking we don't know what's being said. one republican said to me, you know, we're complaining about it not being made public, but one of the problems may be that what we're hearing, what the members, republican members, who are hearing these meetings is not good news. and so they are really concerned about what to do next. they are not getting guidance from the white house. and they don't know where this is leading. >> stand by, everyone. we've got more. joe biden's son is speaking out today in this new interview. hunter biden strongly denying he has done anything wrong, but he does admit to poor judgment and acknowledging that his last name has opened many doors. plus, it keeps happening. vice president mike pence says once thing, president trump another. this time on the crisis in syria.
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we are back. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. the man at the center of prd president trump the campaign is hunter biden who's speaking out. more about what he told abc news. >> i'm a human. did i make a mistake? yeah. a mistake based ltz upon some unethical lapse, absolutely not. what i regret is not taking into account that there would be a rudy giuliani and a president of the united states that would be listening to this -- this ridiculous conspiracy idea. that part of it, that barnum and bailey, you know, say anything, do anything you want, you know, i mean, like, you know, donald
prince humperdink trump jr. is not somebody i really care about. >> jamie and hagar ar back. nobody heard from hunter biden does a huge interview on abc today on the day of the big debate in ohio. high did they choose to do this and will it help or hurt joe biden? >> why they chose it today, i can't imagine there is a political advisers who thought it was a good idea to do it today. on the day of the debate. i do want to say something every time we talk about hunter biden, and that is, there is no evidence of wrongdoing. >> yes. >> and also he was very honest in the interview. you know, he -- amy asked, is it a benefit that your father is
joe biden? and he acknowledges that. but i think it's also important to remember it's also a benefit for evauivanka trump, eric, don and lots of businesses across the world, but was today the right day to do that interview, i'm not sure it was. >> hagar, let me play more of interview about the opportunity to serve on his board. >> if your last name wasn't biden do you think you would have been asked to be on the board? >> i don't know. probably not. i don't think there's a lot of things that would have happened in my life that if my last nate name wasn't biden. >> this is exactly to jamie's point. you know, fair to say that for any child of a person who wins the presidency, he says he will not serve on any foreign boards if his dad wins. why isn't that already policy on the books? >> right.
first i want to say i agree with everything jamie just said. >> don't we always? >> yeah. you know, when i was in government and i believed this is still the case, though it could have changed, political appointees number one could not have, could not take jobs with entities they worked with or had special information on for at least a year after they left government. then if they took that job or frankly any job they took afterward they weren't allowed to contact their home agencies for one to two years depending on your level after you left. right? so the reason for that is to limit corruption. my point in stating this fact that existed for government officials is that it was largely for specifically for government officials, because their spouses and children didn't really have the same type of clout or the same type of network connections and so on. so the idea that hunter biden is accused of improperly benefiting is a little bit of a stretch
here. now, should maybe he had -- if he wanted to be cautious or conservative, regardless what the law says and what ethic rules says he could have said, you know what? maybe it doesn't look so good. maybe it undermines my father or the obama administration and therefore maybe i won't. the prudent thing, not to take that position because it doesn't, the perception isn't great. that said, unrealistic to expect that the relatives of government officials or former government officials, to not work with foreign entities. the issue that you have to make sure is number one it is according to the book of the law. and secondly, that it's not with a shady character or with an adversary. that's the number one goal here, and that's where as jamie noted there was no wrongdoing found. >> right. right. >> let's remember, joe biden is not vice president right now. and donald trump is president
and his children are benefiting from businesses that are all over the world. >> sure. >> donald trump did this for one reason. he saw joe biden as serious competition, and so this was a way to go after him. >> all right. jamie and hagar, ladies, thank you both for all of that. again, the debate at 8:00 tonight. talk more about that. ahead here, the president and vice president should probably speak with one voice on major issues especially the deepening prices in syria, but they're not. plus, rudy giuliani admits it. the president's personal lawyer says he did take $500,000 from a ukrainian american businessman just arrested on campaign finance charges and now the feds are closing in. you wouldn't do only half
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the white house is scrambling damage control on northern syria after all kinds of criticism for removing u.s. troops andy l allowin ining a u to face turkey alone. and sending vice president mike pence to the middle east to try to stop the violence. >> the united states of america wants turk toy stop the invasion. to implement and immediate cease-fire and to begin to
negotiate with kurdish forces in syria to bring an end to the violence. >> but -- less than two hours before the vice president stood before the cameras and said that this is what the president tweeted. ip would much rather focus on our southern border when abuts and is part of the united states of america and by the way numbers of way down in the wall being built. so what is the message from the white house? haven't haven't politics reporter and editor at large chris cillizza is with me. seems like this is -- is the right hand not talking to the left hand here? >> big time. especially, odd because the right hand is the president and the left hand the vice president. you would think they would be in some kind of coordination. okay. first, a bunch of these. first run how that what mike pence had to say about whether or not there was a green light given to the turkish to invade syria or not and then get to trump. play pence first. >> well, the united states of america did not give a green
light to turkey to invade syria. >> okay. did not give a green light. go to the official white house statement which i believe okay. here we go statement from the president, united states armed forces will not support or be involved in the operation united states forces have to defeat the caliphate and no longer will be in the immediate area. hmm. if not directly contradictory, certainly not incoordination. now, do another one, brooke. here is mike pence talking about whether erdogan, head of turkey, will be coming to the white house later this fall. play that. >> there's been no decision made about a scheduled meeting next month. but -- well, let me say the president could not have been more firm with president erdogan. >> got it. so no decision has been made. just want to, for context, donald trump october 8th also
remember importantly turkey is in good standing of nato, he, erdogan coming to the white house november -- yeah, anyway, two examples. >> what about -- since the phone call with erdogan and violence that's erupted, what about the messaging there? >> right. okay now we have another example of mixed messaging. again, pence on one hand, trump on the other. go to pence first. >> and opportunities for us to bring troops home and to have american forces come out of harm's way has always been a priority for this president. but that didn't mean that this president in any way, in any way, encourages violence anywhere in the world let alone along the border between turkey and syria. >> okay. now, again, donald trump tweets october 14th, this is -- anyone who wants to assist syria for
protecting the kurds is good with me. whether russia, china or napoleon bonaparte. some people want to protect 7,000 miles away border of syria. are we protecting syria? do we not care? a priority? u.s. border more a priority? erdogan coming listening to president trump? again, the sorts of things, brooke, you would think might happen, might happen, between the president and let's say a low-level cabinet person? not between the president and the vice president who theoretically meet every week and maybe some things they should talk about are getting on the same page. the answer quickly, is because donald trump changes his mind. mike pence says something, donald trump undermines him. >> you hit the nail on the head. thank you for that and the mixed messages coming out of the white house. more news this afternoon on rudy giuliani's legal predicament shall we call it?
michael warren is with me now. michael, you have scoop. what is it? >> right, brooke. cnn reporting rudy giuliani is parting ways with his personal attorney shortly. jon sale. rudy giuliani telling cnn a few moments ago jon was helping me assessing the congressional requests, that subpoena request from giuliani the deadline today. giuliani continued, he, jon sale, my lawyer, will submit his letter and he will be finished with what i asked him to do. sale did not respond to multiple requests for comment here, but, brooke, one more thing. we should note people close to giuliani are advising him to get a criminal attorney as questions are lingering about these two associates of his. they were indicted last week. fruman and parnas. >> they're saying lawyer up and specifically get a criminal attorney. michael warren, thank you for
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senator bernie sanders is moments away from getting a walk-through of tonight's cnn debate stage weeks after suffer aing heart attack and as the vermont senator and 11 other democratic presidential candidates prepare to take to that stage in a few hours, so much has happened. since the last debate, 33 days ago from the impeachment inquiry to the white house shifting gears in syria. also witnessed senator elizabeth warren's rise in polls and former vice president joe biden rigorous defense of his son hunter. go to may reston live at the debate side in westerville, ohio, and, maeve, start with senator sanders. wish hem well healthwise, standing on the stage fresh off his heart attack what message does he need to relay saying i'm ready and fit to serve? >> reporter: has to show he is really back in the game. obviously this heart attack wag a lot more serious than everyone
thought at first, when we first heard he was leaving the campaign trail. i've been out talking, brooke, to voters in ohio over the last couple days. there's a lot of interest just in whether he's up for this. whether he has the stamina to make it the full way. he's going to have to show that tonight. maybe with some humor. but also with that energy and drive that we always see from him and perhaps some bernie shouting in the mix, too. >> bernie shouting, finger waving, we'll stand by for all of that. what about senator elizabeth warren? tonight's a huge night for her? the pressure is on? theirs is the first debate since she's become front-runner in this pack of people. what's her strategy looking into this evening? >> reporter: well, she's certainly going to have to deliver the kind of smooth performances that we've seen from her in the last couple days, but -- debates, but also seen joe biden roll out this attack line on her that america doesn't need a planner. she's going to have to show
tonight that she can bring more than that to the nomination and i think also there's just a lot of questions particularly in a swing state like ohio where we are about whether she is appeal to that middle ground of voters and in the same way that joe biden has demonstrated over the years. you hear a lot out there in ohio just about her policies being kind of way out there along with bernie sanders, and i think she's got to show that, that, more of that middle ground tonight, brooke. >> und ee eer a beautiful blue . thank you very much in ohio. tune in tonight, cnn/"new york times" president's democratic debate live from the battleground state of ohio. starts 8:00 eastern here on cnn. the russians are secretly selling weapons. >> we need a team to go into the jungle and get eyes on them. >> if we do this --
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two crucial meetings of the minds in the next 24 hours. tonight house democrats convene to discuss the impeachment inquiry and tomorrow the same message impeachment. my next guest says it may be hard to do. telling "new york" magazine they're too tired to care. "when we talk about what it would take for the president's defenders to turn on him this
crucial piece is missing. you can't feel outraged if you can no longer feel anything at all." olivia is with me now. olivia, i read this and thought, how are they not feeling anything? >> well, i think on the left and even in the media there have been a lot of conversations about trump fatigue. i've certainly talked about it. we've covered him for a long time now, and when there is a fire hose of news every day you can start to feel like nothing really matters, or it's hard to get outraged or motivated to find out more when there's just more and more and more all the tile. i think for those on the right even those inclined to defend the president, they have their own version of that, and it's kind of, leading them to feel nothing, to feel inaction. to not want to, i guess, confront what they might have to confront were they to tap into their emotions. >> and -- a lot of the senior
congressional aides you're talking to voicing this fatigue, talking to you on background, but why not do something about it? why not champion something that will end the fatigue much more publicly or are they feelful of voter backlash or feeling like it won't matter? >> right. and i'm talking to one senior republican aide who's talking about how he doesn't think anything will change, and i asked about all the reports that privately republicans, like i was doing with that person, feel differently than they've let on publicly, and. it anything is going to change, will anyone come out who hasn't already come out to don tem tco president? they don't know and seem resigned to status quo. i tried to acknowledge in the piece we're talking about this even as i perpetuate this myself, talking to people on background who don't want to come out and say how they really
feel publicly but that's the way washington works sometimes unfortunately. >> another quip from your piece. senior republican senate aide tells you "the white house just like, oh, trump will handle everything which is crazy but seems that's their strategy. it a depressing time." do you think that the president, olivia, or his inner circle is aware the whole throw your hands up approach may actually be working in his favor? >> i don't know. when you look at the trump talkers as the campaign and the white house calls the talking points that they send out for surrogates and for congressional republicans, it just sounds exactly what donald trump has to say on twitter, what he said at his rallies. it's just a reflection of his rhetoric and i think, i don't know what would have to change for him to be steered in another direction. i think he's really just dictating how the defense of his behavior goes right now. >> and as we have this conversation i'd be remiss not to ask, tweeting up a storm about a conversation or text
exchange with rudy giuliani. >> everything, brooke. always tweeting up a storm. >> doing the do, and i was saying in commercial break, i don't didn't know there was stop sign emoji until rudy giuliani used it with you. what did he say to you whether or not he was still representing the presidents and what he said about john bolton and the in u.s. to come there? >> god bless him for teaching us about the stop sign emoji, but there was confusion the other day. the president wouldn't say whether or not rudy giuliani was still representing him. he said he believed he was. seemed to be clarified for the moment. but i think like anybody else in donald trump's inner circle the second they become a problem you can never know how long you're going to hang on. never know who he's going to remain loyal to. i asked giuliani if he thought the president might throw him under the bus. he said no. asked if he would be surprised if that were to happen and that's when he said, stop, with the stop sign emoji. so -- you know, that's how that
conversation ended. we talked earlier today about john bolton's reported comment about him calling him a hand grenade, and he sounded pretty hurt by that. he said he thought it might be a projection from bolton. >> got it. okay. >> a therapy term. republicans are all talking at if they're in therapy right now, at least to me. >> well, a lot of us need it these days. thank you very much. appreciate you with all the scoop there from "new york" magazine. we're getting breaking news. a u.s. official telling cnn turkish-backed forces came very close to endangering u.s. troops as the chaos and calamity in syria escalates. we'll take you there live. and rudy giuliani parting ways with his attorney in the impeachment matters as more witnesses come forward calling rudy giuliani the center avenue rogue foreign policy operation. we'll be right back.
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breaking news. a u.s. official telling cnn turkish-backed forces came very close to coalition base in syria that put u.s. forces on the ground directly at rick. straight to cnn's senior correspondent nick paton walsh in that part of the world. nick, what happened? >> reporter: startling, brooke, we are again in so few days talking about u.s. forces at
risk inside of syria. as far as we understand west of ain issa at a coalition base turkish-backed forces, seen yar rebels backed by turkey, a u.s. official says, mostly extremists former isis and al qaeda came "very close" to a coalition base. there are pretty big u.s. bases on the outskirts of kobani and maybe associated with that. so close, in fact, the u.s. had to show they were prepared to defend themselves and call in air support. so possibly helicopters, possibly jets to get these forces to turn away. now, this u.s. official is particularly dismayed because there are channels there and agreement with turkey who are backing the syrian rebels. extremists making sure they don't come close to u.s. forces's they violated that and the channels were used to deflate the situation. think about this in the broader picture. seyrian rebels backed by turkey
told us not to go by u.s. forces leaving anyway and as they're getting ready to leave the syrian rebels come for them, seems very close to a main base. almost like trying to chase them out of town. a startling development leading back to the risks grows that u.s. troops are put under since the white house announced they were leaving before they actually managed to get their stuff packed. it's extraordinary we're talking about this, though. and a few days ago shelling landed near a base. yet again it's happening and these are extremists getting near a base. >> frightening's ni. nick, thank you. we continue on. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being here. what do we have today? new drop in revelations in the impeachment inquiry happening 0en a day with potential from headlines to drop. the key deferments as follows -- one, members of congress return to work today after facing testy
town halls during recess. rudy giuliani and mark es per phasing subpoena deadlines to produce documents and, three, maybe most critically, another career diplomat is going before the house committees conducting the ever impeachment investigat. george kent overseeing u.s. policy in eastern europe including ukraine is testifying right now despite a direct attempt by the white house to block his appearance. moments ago we got a couple of details what he has said so far. democrats are telling our own correspondent there manu raju kent is backing up what monday's witness fiona hill disclosed. speaking of fiona hill, she sat and testified ten hours before the three house committees and her details about her time as trump's top adviser on russia were pretty explosive. she told lawmakers a shadow ren