tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN January 6, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PST
hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. thank you for joining me. here is what we know this morning in the escalating crisis between the united states and iran. a staggering scene is playing out in iran right now. tens of thousands of people are marching through the streets, mourning the death of qasem soleimani, and also chanting death to america. this as iran announces it will completely abandon any of the limits agreed to in the iran nuclear deal and are also threatening revenge. here in the united states, president trump is doubling down, and once again going
against his top advisers, going against what they say hours before saying if iran hits back, he could authorize strikes on even iran's historic cultural sites, which is considered a war crime. here's the president, his statement yesterday. they're allowed to kill our people, they're allowed to torture and maim our people, they're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people, he wri writes, and we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites. it doesn't work that way. that from the president of the united states. that hours after secretary of state mike pompeo said this. >> american people should know we will always defend them and we'll do so in a way that is consistent with international rule of law and the american constitution. we have done it before. we will do it again. >> cnn is covering it like no one else can. we have reporters around the world, in baghdad, in tehran, in abu dhabi, and also in riyadh. cnn international correspondent, senior correspondent fred pleitgen in tehran joining me
now. fred, thank you so much. you've been watching and monitoring the protests playing out throughout the day. what are you seeing in the streets of iran, tehran, right now and throughout the day? >> reporter: >> reporter: i was right in middle of the morning processions that were essentially protests as well. so this was the casket of qasem soleimani and the others killed in that air strike. this morning, the supreme leader of iran himself, ayatollah khomeini came and prayed at the coffins and then brought through the streets of tehran, where hundreds of thousands of people line the streets. you know, kate, i've been at many protests and mourning ceremonies here in this country, i've never seen one with that many people and with the same kind of vibe. so the people there obviously if a lot of grief after qasem soleimani was killed. internationally he's extremely controversial. here in iran he has an extreme amount of followers and a lot of people who revere qasem soleimani. a lot of people extremely angry at the united states and
specifically extremely angry at the trump administration. a lot of people carrying placards that said two words, harsh revenge and many of them are saying they want that harsh revenge as fast as possible. i did speak also to a senior adviser to iran's supreme leader and he said there is no doubt that iran will take military action against u.s. sites in the middle east, the iranians are saying they don't want a full on war with the united states. kate? >> fred, thank you very much. i appreciate it. to abu dhabi and sam kiley is there. the response from iranian leaders so far as you've seen with threats and now a major announcement that they're no longer going to be abiding by any limits that were agreed to in the 2015 nuclear deal. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, the interesting thing about this nuclear deal is that it was the united states, of course, under donald trump that tore the deal up and the iranians tried to stick to it whilst arguably trying to put pressure via attacking tankers in the gulf of
hormuz, support for the houthis, blamed for rocket attacks against saudi arabia, to try to force the united states' hand. that didn't work out, not least for the killing of mr. soleimani. now we have -- general soleimani -- now we have the hezbollah faction inside iraq, backed by iran, openly threatening to close the straits of hormuz if there is any further military action by the united states. this causing extreme anxiety, right across this region, with the prince salman, the deputy defense minister, former ambassador to washington meeting with mike pompeo in washington today with a message saying, please, de-escalate, that is echoed here in the emirates and the united kingdom, france and germany calling for a de-escalation. what this also has done, kate, is flipped things, at least domestically and politically for the iranian government which a week ago was facing street
protests against its corruption and incompetence and now we see this mass movement of nationalism generated by the killing of soleimani. the problems -- faces have not gone away, though, but in that context, that makes them more dangerous, the more they can externalize their internal problems, the better it is for the hard-liners within that regime, kate. >> yeah, that is key context of all of this that we're seeing out when you see what is going on in the streets of tehran now. sam, thank you very much, i appreciate it. now to washington, cnn's boris sanchez is outside the white house with much more. boris, the reasons given for the strike against soleimani is that he presented -- there was an imminent threat to the united states. and administration is facing a lot of criticism and skepticism for not making that evidence public. are you hearing anything more this morning? >> reporter: not much in the way of details about this so-called imminent nefarious strike, kate. in fact, kellyanne conway, the counselor to the president this
morning, scoffed at the idea that the white house would pass this evidence along to congress. she argued that democrats would still be unsatisfied. she also laughed off this resolution from house speaker nancy pelosi to try to limit some of the president's war powers. she effectively argued that democrats are trying to make the president weaker on foreign policy. now, president trump himself late last night on twitter sort of rebuking congress' role in all of this as well. take a look at this tweet, these media posts will serve as notification to the united states congress that should iran strike any u.s. person or target, the united states will quickly and fully strike back and perhaps in a disproportionate manner. such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless. on the question of attacking iranian cultural sites, kellyanne was also asked about that. she tried to recast them as legitimate targets saying some iranian cultural sites are also military sites and she emphasized what we heard from secretary of state mike pompeo that the united states will
abide by international law when encountering any iranian aggression. >> are we expected to see the president today at all? >> reporter: no, there are no public events on the schedule. he has been active on twitter this morning, tweeted twice about impeachment, saying that neither he nor congress should waste their time on a hoax and also on iran, tweeting that iran will never get a nuclear weapon. there is one event later on this schedule. it may go public, it may not. at this point the white house is not letting cameras in, kate. >> is there anything -- is the white house offering any response to, i mean, secretary of state mike pompeo saying any response from the administration would be within the law. and the president saying he would very clearly say they would target cultural sites in tehran if iran hits back. are you hearing anything more to this? >> reporter: yeah, well, pompeo actually said that hitting cultural sites is not something that president trump was considering and then just a few hours later president trump
speaking to reporters on air force one made clear that he believes that iran commits war crimes, and that the united states should not be strong up with, you know, international law in trying to be courteous to the iranians and the cultural sites are targets. we heard reporting from jim sciutto indicating there are officials within the administration that are opposed to that, so the president will face opposition to any question about attacking these cultural sites. ultimately, though, we should remember that the president faced some pushback from officials when it came to the strike against soleimani to begin with, and he went ahead and did it anyway. obviously the question is still open, kate. >> exactly right. boris, thanks so much. we'll see what happens. busy day. like it always is unfortunately. president trump is also threatening iraq. after a dramatic move by lawmakers there. the iraqi parliament voting yesterday to start the process of expelling all u.s. troops from the country. the response from president trump was swift. tell our reporters this, quote,
we will charge them sanctions like they have never seen before ever. it will make iranian sanctions look somewhat tame. that coming from the president. cnn senior international correspondent arwa damon on the ground in baghdad. are ar arwa, what are you hearing in response to this threat? >> reporter: a lot of anger, kate. this is a country that knows the effective u.s. sanctions only too well, if we look at what happened in the aftermath of the gulf war here. and in direct response to that, kataib hezbollah put out a statement saying should the u.s. decide to take that step, that they would threaten america's oil supply from the persian gulf and they would look to their, quote, friend to help them out with that. obviously meaning iran. this group that issued this threat, that is the same group whose leader was killed alongside qasem soleimani. the same group that was targeted in the u.s. air strikes last
sunday that really led to this severe escalation that we have been seeing unfolding right now. and, of course, all of this back and forth rhetoric comes the day after the iraqi parliament voted to push foreign troops out of iraq. and it was the caretaker prime minister himself who was making the case to parliament basically saying we reached such a point, there has been such a destruction of trust between baghdad and washington, we cannot guarantee the security of foreign forces in iraq from an external or internal threat. that it is. he was arguing in iraq and foreign countries best interest to have those foreign forces leave. it is worth noting, though, that president and parliament, though they were able to achieve quorum, were really only mostly the country's shia lawmakers. the vast majority of the sunnis
and kurds deciding to sit this one out, which shows you how divisive the troop presence issue already is. and then, of course, there is the issue of the legality of all of this. the current government is a caretaker government. but we are hearing that they have begun to reach out to countries who do have troops based here that they say, and it seems all indications are they are go to be moving forward with this. >> arwa, thank you so much. always so important to have you there, really appreciate it, thank you. still ahead, for us, president trump says soleimani was killed to stop a war. but a former top diplomat says the strike has sparked consequences that the president did not bargain for. and later, congress is back at work this week, speaker pelosi, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell remain in a standoff over the impeachment trial. and now two senate republicans, they each say they have a plan to break the impact. i'll show you what it is next. ry skin in a day? aveeno® with prebiotic triple oat complex
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the united states is now bracing for possible retaliation from iran. this after the united states, of course, the u.s. strike that killed iranian general qasem soleimani. he was one of iran's most powerful men. widely seen as second only to the country's supreme leader, also responsible for the deaths of at least hundreds of american troops serving overseas. our next guest is one of america's most experienced diplomats, and today he's warning that the collateral damage that strike could -- collateral damage from that strike could be greater than the president bargained for. joining me is bill burns who retired as the number two official after serving five u.s. presidents and conducted back channel talks with iran which
paved the way for the deal in 2015. you have a piece in the atlantic with jake sullivan this morning and it is striking. i want to read one part for the viewers. you write this, no one really knows what comes next, not even the protagonists themselves, but as the dust settles, the collateral damage from the strike on qasem soleimani will likely be greater than the trump administration bargained for. in his death, soleimani may exact his own final act of revenge against the united states. how so? what is your biggest fear now? >> well, kate, it is great to be with you. i think that killing of qasem soleimani is clearly a significant tactical blow to the iranian regime. but it could become a serious strategic setback for the united states. remember three years ago the president said that, you know, what he was intent on doing is weakening iranian influence in the region, and pressuring it and then abandoning the nuclear agreement with iran, pressuring iran to produce a better nuclear deal. if you look at the strategic results that are unfolding so
far, they're pretty sobering. in the region, it is our position that it looks more precarious today, especially in iraq, where you have an iraqi government that is beginning to move toward demanding withdrawal of u.s. military forces at a moment when those forces are still crucial to a fight against isis, which is not yet over. and instead of better nuclear deal, there is no nuclear deal, and in iran that is methodically beginning to lift the constraints on its nuclear program, heading in a direction that we knew all too well before the nuclear agreement. and unconstrained iranian nuclear program and then all the dilemmas that that poses in a region which has no shortage of insecurities already. >> and let's talk about the nuclear deal and the role of it here. this -- you write that this all goes back to the president's decision to pull out of the iran deal, the colonels of this crisis begin there. let me play for you what secretary of state mike pompeo said this weekend because he
argues the exact opposite. >> this war kicked off, people talk about the war, this war kicked off when the jcpoa was entered into. >> what do you say to that? >> well, i would say is that when the iranian nuclear deal, the comprehensive nuclear agreement was in place, iran was still an adversary, still posed threats to american interests, the interests of our friends across the middle east. but we didn't see a situation where unmanned u.s. aircraft were being shot down in international waters by the iranians, we didn't see a situation where gulf shipping and infrastructure was being hit by iranian lines and missiles, we didn't see a situation when the deal was in effect where u.s. personnel were being hit by missiles from iraqi shia militias as well. so i'm not trying to argue that the nuclear agreement was a perfect agreement. but it provided a much more sustainable foundation for pushing back against all of those other kinds of iranian
threats. now we're in a situation where not only do we face those kind of threats, but they're escalating and, you know, we're walki ining into a situation an tragedy which is in many ways of our own making beginning with the foolish decision to pull out of the iranian nuclear agreement. >> and you mentioned the -- what happens in iraq now and this now, this latest move to kind of pave the way to expelling u.s. forces from iraq. that is the immediate fallout, iraq turning against the united states, iraq pushing u.s. -- moving to push u.s. troops out of the country. i wonder very simply who that benefits the most. >> it benefits the iranians, it benefits our adversaries, it benefits isis in a way which is trying to resurrect itself as well. again, if -- you look at the situation that, you know, we faced even a couple of months ago it was iraqi demonstrators who were torching an iranian
consulate in iraq, protesting against iranian violations of iraqi sovereignty, now what we have done has enabled the iranians to change the channel and basically make the united states the focus of those same kind of grievances about american violations of iraqi sovereignty. >> i want to know what you think the next move should be. the leaders of france, germany and uk put out a joint statement this morning and message was very clearly there is now an urgent need for de-escalation, they mentioned iran by name in the statement. they do not mention the united states. what is the statement mean? how do you get to de-escalation? >> it is not an easy thing right now, especially given the tensions that exist in the region and, you know, we shouldn't be naive about that. obviously what you hope is that everybody takes a deep breath and uses their head and doesn't escalate the situation further, which is why some of the president's tweets over the last 24 hours, you know, threatening attacks on iranian cultural sites, threatening sanctions against the iraqi government, if they actually do call for a
withdrawal, add to the escalation, not to de-escalation. >> ambassador, thank you so much for coming in. >> my pleasure, kate, thank you. >> thank you. >> his piece in the atlantic now, i recommend reading it. still ahead for us, the impasse over the impeachment trial appears to be going nowhere fast. republican senators lindsey graham and josh hawley are floating new different ideas for pushing past the stalemate. what they're proposing and what it means for the process going forward. that's next. ber, you have the hilton app. will the hilton app help us pick the starters? great question, no. but it can help you pick your room from the floor plan. can the hilton app help us score? you know, it's not that kind of thing, but you can score free wi-fi. can it help us win? hey, hey! we're all winners with the hilton price match guarantee, alright? man, you guys are adorable! alright, let's go lose this soccer game, come on! book with the hilton app. if you find a lower rate, we match it and give you 25% off that stay. expect better. expect hilton.
the senate is back in session, just hours from now. and the house is back tomorrow, which will kick off this critical week in the fight over impeachment of president trump. no date set for the high stakes proceedings to begin no progress yet on resolving the impasse over how to proceed and no clues offered on when speaker pelosi will hand over the articles of impeachment for the senate trial to get under way. and today, a new twist, two senate republicans pushing to change the rules, instead of waiting any longer. senator lindsey graham arguing they should start the trial,
constitutional articles be damned. >> if she sends the articles as required by the institution, i would work to change the rules of the senate so we can start the trial without her if necessary. if we don't get the articles this week, we need to take matters into our own hands and change the rules. >> senator josh hawley's moving today to flat out dismiss the case entirely. >> we need to change the senate rules to allow the senate to dismiss this case if she refuses to send the articles over. >> all right, joining me now, cnn senior congressional correspondent manu raju and anna palmer for "politico." let's start with the new republican efforts we're playing there. what are you hearing about this? is this going to go anywhere, what we're hearing from josh hawley and lindsey graham? >> reporter: is it does not appear likely to go anywhere. there is difficult to change rules in the u.s. senate. to do it under the normal order,
you need 67 senators to vote to change the rules and certainly that's not going to happen with 53 republicans. but they could also do something called the nuclear option, which is to change the rules by a simple majority, which requires 51 senators. so you think that republicans could be in line to vote to change the rules, but most likely not because there are a number of republicans who are concerned about the precedence being set in changing the rules. they have done that, already changed the rules for judicial confirmations, but dealing with the senate impeachment trial is a whole other level that a lot of senators simply just don't want to go. one senator not eager to go that way also is mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, who made clear in the floor of the senate last week he's content in moving along with regular senate business, confirming judicial nominees and mostly potentially the u.s./mexico trade agreement, while they wait for those articles of impeachment to come over. so he does not seem keen on going that route, but it just shows you the pressure will
build for something, for some action and on nancy pelosi herself to make clear on what her plans are in sending articles of impeachment over to the senate, kate. >> nuclear option sounds scary, it has happened, recently. so it is unusual yet we live in unusual times. anna, since the house voted to impeach, the house went on the two week recess. and in that time more evidence, more information, more details has come have out including emails that directly tie trump to the decision to withhold military aid from ukraine. how do you think this new information and the clear implication that there is more information that is being withheld by the white house pertinent to the impeachment question at hand? how is this likely to impact the process now? >> i think it is really unclear what the next step for speaker nancy pelosi is, she's playing her cards very close to the vest, not even her closest advisers know when she's planning on transmitting the articles to the senate.
i think there is an expectation, it does happen this week. it is just a matter of when, not if it is ever going to happen, which you kind of see that rhetoric on the senate republican side. i think the question is going to be nancy pelosi trying to keep as much leverage as possible for chuck schumer and the senate to try to get some kind of a deal about how this trial is going to work. i think in the next 48 hours or so, we'll see a lot of kind of shadow boxing, but the strategy is really going to unfold there. >> we will wait and see. do you get a sense, manu, any of the new information coming out, like the emails from michael duffey, the online publication just security was able to see when he writes clear direction from potus to continue to hold in terms of the aid, is any of this changing any minds? >> reporter: it doesn't appear that way. what the most republicans, almost all of them seem to be in line with mcconnell's strategy, to go forward with opening arguments first and senate trial, then deal with what the democrats are asking for later,
which is to ask for documents and witnesses to be turned over. the democrats want that agreed to up front, that's something mitch mcconnell won't agree to. and we're not seeing any defections really in the ranks joining the democrats argument on this. even people critical of mcconnell's coordination with the white house, collins of maine, lisa murkowski of alaska, giving mitch mcconnell leverage because he does not have -- they're not four republicans who say they're going to break ranks and join with democrats, so we'll see it that changes. for the moment, mcconnell has his conference in line, kate. >> and then, of course there is the whole question of can they, do they choose to walk and chew gum at the same time, deal with impeachment while you have a real and true crisis now with iran that congress needs to focus on yet to be seen, but it will all kick off hours from now. and when the house returns tomorrow. thank you, guys, great to see you. still ahead for us, growing fears about a possible cyberattack. will iran target computer
capability and the intent to mount attacks against our citizens and our military and diplomats overseas as well as to try and to do something here, most specifically what i'm worried about, frankly, allison in the near term for homeland impact is on the cyberfront. >> that was a stark warning from the homeland security adviser under president obama. the same concern is being raised today by many top security officials, saying a cyberattack could cause real and significant disruption to the united states. but as iran promise as they put it harsh revenge in the wake of the killing of one of its top generals, what would, could a cyberattack look like? here with me now is graham brooky, served as adviser to the national security council and top aide to -- former president obama on cybersecurity. thank you for coming in. >> thank you for having me. >> what are the cybercapabilities of the iranian? what could they target? >> they could target any number
of things. and i think we need to differentiate between the hard cyberspace as well as the soft information space. the hard cyberspace would include critical infrastructure and things of that nature. where as the soft information space would be our own online conversations about this event. >> cybersecurity has been a national security concern for a very long time. how vulnerable is the united states still today, do you think? if you're talking about, you know -- if you're talking about infrastructure, how vulnerable is it still today? >> infrastructure is particularly vulnerable. at the same time, the hard cyberthreats, there are traces that we would be able to basically know about in advance. and so what the department of homeland security has done over the last 72 hours has issued alerts to -- for large organizations to up their monitoring of their own systems and their own infrastructure, and for citizens, what that means for us is to basically up
our own cyber hygiene, use multifactor and things like that . >> at the atlantic council, you're actively monitoring these kinds of activity online. what are you seeing right now? >> well, there is two extremely important points. both iran has developed increasingly sophisticated information operations apparatus that aligns directly with its foreign policy views. they attempt to present information and persuade others to their side. that being said, as of this morning, we have seen no large scale information operations that would be directly attributed to the iranian government. what we have seen in the wake of soleimani's death say large global conversation at the scale and significance of a news event of this. >> from your time and experience, you know, working with the national security council, advising the president
on cybersecurity, how dangerous is -- how dangerous and real do you think the threat is in temss of a retaliatory event from iran to the united states in the wake of such a significant as we can see significant crisis that has now started in terms of a cyberattack? >> in terms of a cyberattack, i think the threat is very real. while iran has not shown a huge amount of willingness to carry out direct military attacks, they have shown an enormous amount of willingness to take what we would call hybrid threats or attacks. and what that could include conflict by proxy, across the middle east region, it could include attacks in hard cyberspace and soft information space. where we have the most amount of eventual nrbl vulnerability is the soft information space. >> great to see you, thank you for coming in. appreciate it terrifying as it is, it is good to have your expertise. coming up, congress wasn't
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house speaker nancy pelosi announcing democrats will move this week to limit the president's military options against iran. the speaker in a letter to democratic colleagues writing this, in part, this action endangered our service members, diplomats and others by risking serious escalation of tensions with iran, going on to say we're concerned the administration took this action without the consultation of congress and without respect for congress' war powers granted to it by the
constitution. the war powers resolution would mandate that absent congressional approval, any of the administration's military actions against iran must end within 30 days. so as congress heads back to washington, what is this now going to look like? joining me now, democratic congressman jim halftiimes, thau for coming in. >> hi, kate. >> let's start there, the war powers resolution, it can pass the house, you have the numbers to pass it in the house. do you think you'll get any republican senators on board with this to pass it in the senate? >> yeah, it is a good question. it is an interesting question. on so many things the republican party has lined up lock, stop and barrel behind president trump and on international issues, whether it is russia or expanding our footprint in the middle east you do see some republicans showing, i think, some unusual prudence. so i don't know, but there is a larger issue here, kate, which is, look, this resolution may be
important. but let's forget about the law for a second and look at the constitution of the united states, which says in total clarity that the congress of the united states is charged with decisions to go to war or not go to war. so while this resolution is going to be important, the white house needs to understand that the constitution of the united states puts this decision on capitol hill and that's important because, kate, we had a long conversation and i don't think it is done yet about whether the attack on general soleimani was legally authorized, there is the question of what is going to happen afterwards, that's in the past. there is an argument that if there is a clear and present danger and imminent threat, the president can act. now the president has said i got 52 targets, i might go after them, i might do it disproportionately, i might go after cultural sites, that is war. that is not a response to an imminent threat. it is also a threat to commit war crimes. so this is where congress absolutely must be consulted. >> let me read for you, i'm shr y sure you saw it, what the
president said last night. these media posts, meaning on twitter, serve as notification to the united states congress that should iran strike any u.s. person or target of the united states will quickly strike back and perhaps in a disproportionate manner. it is clear congress wasn't notified before-hand. do you see that as notification? have you seen anything since or been told you're going to be getting a briefing, >> well, i read the same twitter that you just read. look, there's a couple things going on here. number one, this is the president showing disdain for the congress. you shouldn't show disdain for the congress. by the way, the senate, of course, is a republican-controlled branch of the congress. so, no, a tweet does not serve the purpose. but, again, let's come back to first principles here. notification is one thing. going to war, which is where we wind up spending trillions of dollars and where we end up losing hundreds, maybe thousands
of americans in uniform, that requires authorization by the congress of the united states. and no secretary pompeo and no john bolton or anybody else, neither of the existing confirmations the president gave over a decade ago takes the place of congress. so starting with this tweet is not where to start the conversation. >> then let me tell you what kellyanne conway said this morning about informing top members of congress about the attack. let me play this. >> again, a lot of people just like to head straight to the cameras. can you imagine telling the chairman of the intel committee, one adam schiff, that this is going to happen? can you imagine? the man goes to bed with his earpiece and his microphone on. >> i know this is looking back one more time, as you're talking about looking forward, but she's saying the democrats cannot be trusted. kellyanne conway, what i take
from that is she says that's one reason why congress wasn't informed, is because you can't be trusted. >> you know, i hope that you play that clip over and over and over again, because it is kellyanne conway showing, in a very specific way, her disdain for the laws of the united states of america. the laws say that congress will be informed. i understand that kellyanne conway doesn't think much of adam schiff because adam schiff has, of course, exposed her boss' unlawful activity. but we are a nation of laws, kate, and just because i want to drive at 90 miles an hour down the highway because i'm late somewhere doesn't mean i get to do it because i happen to think it's important to do so. there are lots of police officers out there who might want to rough up a suspect a little bit to try to get a confession. we don't do that because it's against the law. so, again, just because kellyanne conway doesn't like adam schiff does not mean that she and the administration that she serves get to ignore the
law. what you just heard was kellyanne conway saying, because i don't like a guy in the congress, i think we should break the law. >> let's see what it means going forward, quite honestly. it's going to be a very critical week. congressman, thank you for coming in. we'll be right back. here, it all starts with a simple...
we do have breaking news just coming in with regard to the impeachment of president trump. just now a statement being issued by the president's former national security adviser john bolton, making clear that he is prepared, in a statement that he has put out, prepared to testify in the impeachment trial of the president of the united states. let me get first over to kaitlan collins who has all the details coming out just now. kaitlan, this is a lengthy statement coming from john bolton. what is he saying? >> reporter: it's lengthy, but all the news, kate, is at the bottom that in the statement, donald trump's former security adviser said, quote, i conclude that if the senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, i am prepared to testify. that's big news. it hangs on a lot of conditions, especially since senate republicans so far have shown no willingness to invite any witnesses to come and testify at that senate trial when it's going to happen when we don't know, still. that's still something that's
very unclear. but this is substantial news coming from john bolton who, of course, has been at the center of this ukraine drama. he was the national security adviser here in the white house who pushed repeatedly for the president to let go of that aid that he had on that military aid to ukraine. that aid, of course, we've learned he was withholding because he wanted those investigations conducted into the bidens, and of course he wanted statements out of the ukranian leaders and their government on that. and john bolton is a force against that in the white house, something that we know from testimony from officials who worked for him and next to him. john bolton was very against, even once having a meeting with the president in the oval office where things got incredibly tense over this hold on aid, and we've seen, of course, it was the president was not there. now he says he's willing to tell his story. of course, kate, all of this depends on whether or not he is invited up to capitol hill, but it is really hard to see -- now that we have this statement and him saying, no legal fights, no going to court, he's willing to testify if he gets a subpoena,
how the senate republicans do not invite him up now. >> absolutely. kaitlan, stick with me. let me bring up manu raju, senior correspondent on this. manu, just what kate was saying, john bolton is a key figure in the whole conversation about what the president knew and did and when with regard to aid in ukraine and asking for investigations into joe biden. with a statement like this coming from john bolton, do you think that -- what are the chances that he is called to testify, or how can they not call him to testify now? >> reporter: it's going to add a lot of pressure to republicans, especially ones that said we should just dismiss this case after the opening arguments. democrats, of course, have demanded him to testify. bolton, an attorney himself, has said in recent weeks that he has information that has not yet come out in the impeachment testimony. what is that information? he asked the court to get a court ruling to determine whether or not he should testify before the house. that ruling is essentially moot according to the judge in that
case, and now he's saying because that's moot, he's willing to testify in the case of a subpoena. the question is will he be subpoenaed? >> this shifts the case entirely now. it really could be shifting the focus and the conversation right now. thank you so much, manu, i really appreciate it. thank you so much, everyone, for joining me. "inside politics" will pick up this breaking news right now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. we begin the hour with the just breaking major news related to the trump impeachment inquiry. john bolton issuing a statement just moments ago saying he's now willing ask ready to testify in a senate impeachment trial if -- if -- the senate issues a subpoena demanding his testimony. let's get straight to the state department. our correspondent kylie atwood joins us live. kylie, what do we know about this development? >> reporter: this is a major development because it really ih