tv KPIX 5 News at Noon CBS January 24, 2020 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
the power of his office to undermind the free and fair elections at the heart of our democracy. sadly that moment has arrived. president trump's repleated solicitation of a ukrainian investigation was a clear effort to leverage foreign interference to bolster his prospects in the 2020 election. in other words to cheat in his election. in our democracy, power flows from the will of the people as manifest and free and fair elections. one person, one vote is fundamental in our democracy. president trump's invitation to foreign interference in the 2020 election for the purposes of helping him win an election under cut the constitution's commitment to popular sovereignty. americans are now left to wonder if their vote matters or if they are simply pons in a system being manipulated by shadowy foreign forces working on behalf of corrupt interests of a lawless president. over the long term this weakens
our democratic system's capacity are to self governance by encouraging apathy and non-participation. cynicism makes it easier for enemies to influence our politics and undermind the national good. indeed this is precisely what vladimir putin intended when he immediateeled in the 2016 election. for us to become more cynical, for us to lose faith in the motion that the american system of government is speier t supere auto corrupt model of government in russia and sought to export to places like ukraine. these are not the free and fair elections americans expect or demand if foreign powers are interfering. how can we know that our elections are free from foreign interference whether by disinforma or hang or fake investigations. we must not become number to
foreign interference -- numb to foreign interferenour s.ur electrions aea scce ired. if we do not act to put an end to solicitation of foreign interference into our election by the president of the united states, the effect would be corrosive to our elections and our values. future presidents may believe that they too can use the substantial power conferred on them by the constitution in order to undermind our system of free and fair elections. that they too can cheat to attain power or keep it. that way lies disaster for the great experiment in sell governance. you can see there's powerful evidence that president trump will continue to betray the national interest to a foreign power and further undermind both our security and our democracy. this creates an urgent need to remove him from office before the next election. to explain the nature of that
continuing threat and to describe russian's ongoing efforts to harm ens, the president's corrupt refusal emn or defeld against those attacks, his statements confirming that he welcome foreign interference in our elections sore long as it is meant to help him and his conduct proving that he will persist in seeking to corrupt elections at the expense of our security and at the expense of those elections. let's start with russia's ongoing attacks on our democracy. at the heart of the present ukraine's scream is his decision to subscribe to that dangerous conspiracy theory that ukraine not russia was responsible for interfering in 2016. president trump and his men pressured ukraine into investigating this bogus piece of russian propaganda and in doing so they aided putin's concerted plot to undermind our security and democracy. special council mueller warned
that putin's plot was ongoing. >> is this, in your investigation, did you think that this was a single attempt by the russians to get involved in our election or did you noind evidence to suggest they will try to do this again. >> they are doing it as we sit here and they expect to do it in the next campaign. >> not a single attempt, they're doing it as we sit here and expect to do it in the next campaign. that was special counsel mueller's stark warning. we now know director mueller was right. just last week we saw russian reporting were using e-mails to attack burisma presumably in search of dirt on joe biden. those are thesome tactics de-- the sat in the last election. it may be russia once again
attempting to sway our election for one candidate this time through ukraine. indeed president trump to this very day refuses to accept the unanimous assessment of the intelligence community and law enforcement professionals that russia interfered in the 2016 campaign and poses a threat to the 2020 presidential election. instead he used it from his own personal lens, whether it is an attack on the legitimacy on the 2016 electoral victory. special counsel mueller's testimony on july 24, 2019, the day before the president's call with president zelensky contradicted president trump's claim that his was, quote a clean campaign. mueller found that individualsa6 campaign of president welcome's russia's offers of assistance
and adjusted their political strategy so that then candidate donald trump might benefit from russia's assistance. when they were subsequent me asked by u.s. law enforcement about their activities, president trump's as individualers repeated lied. in helsinki in 2018 however, president trump refused to acknowledge the russian threat to our elections. when a reporter explicitly asked whether he believed putin or the u.s. intelligence agencies on the issue of foreign interference in the 2016 election, president trump said, quote, i don't see any reason why it would be russia, and talked about the dnc server. >> let me just say that we have two thoughts. you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server, why haven't they taken the server. why was the fbi told to leave
the office of the democratic national committee. i've been wondering that. i've been asking that for months and months and i've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. where is the server. i want to know where is the server and what is the server saying. with that being said all i can do is ask the question. my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others who said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be but i really do want to see the server but i have confidence in both parties. i really believe that this will probably go on for a while but i don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. what happened to the servers of the pakistani's gentleman that worked on the dnc. why are their servers, they are
missing. where are they? what happened to hillary clinton's e-mails. 33,000 e-mails gone, just gone. i think in russia they wouldn't be gone so easily. i think it's thousands of e-mails. >> i'm sure you remember this. think unforgettable for every american but i'm sure it was equally unforgettable for vladimir putin. i mean, there he is, the president of russia standing next to the pride o president oe united states and hearing his own kremlin pop prop began taught talk -- prop began taught talking points coming from the united states. if that's not a propaganda coup i don't know what it is. it's the most extraordinary thing. it's the most extraordinary thing. the president of the united states standing next to the president of russia, our add
variousy saying -- adversary e saying he doesn't believe his own intelligence agencies. he doesn't believe them. he's promoting this kooky crazy theory cooked you by the kremlin right next to the guy who cooked it up. it's a breathtaking success of russian intelligence. i don't know if there's ever been a greater success of russian intelligence. whatever profile russia did of our president, boy did they have him spot on. flattery and po propaganda. flattery and propaganda is all russia needed. as to ukraine, well, they needed to deliver a political investigation to get help fro the united states. this is just the most incredible propaganda coup.
because as i said yesterday, it's not just that the president of the united states standing next to vladimir putin is reading kremlin talking points. he won't read his own national security staff talking points. but he will read the kremlin ones. but it's not just that he adopts the kremlin talking points. that would be bad enough. it's not bad enough, it's not damaging enough, it's not dangerous enough to our national security that he's underminding our own intelligence agencies. it's not bad enough that he underminds those very agencies that he needs later to have credibility. we just had a vigorous debate over these, the strikes against general sulemani and the president made his arguments about what the intelligence says and supports. how do you make those arguments
when you say the u.s. intelligence community can't be believed. now we've had a vigorous debate about what that intelligence has to say. that's not the issue here. the issue here is you undermind the credibility of your own intelligence agency. you weaken the country for when you need to rely on them for when you need to persuade your friends and allies, you can trust us when we tell you this is what the intelligence shows. how do you make that argument as the president of the united states when you've just told the world you trust the russians more than your own people. you trust rudy giuliani more than christopher wray. how do you make that case. if you can't major that case what does that mean to our security. but that's not the end of it. it's not just a propaganda coup or ther agencies, it's also that the
buy-in to that propaganda meant that ukraine wasn't going to get money to fight the russians. that's one hell of a russian intelligence coup. they've got the president of the united states to provide the cover for their own interference with our election. they got the president of the united states to discredit his own intelligence agencies. they got the president of the united states to drive can a wedge between the united states and ukraine. they got the president of the united states to withhold aid from ukraine in a war with russia, in a war that is claiming ukrainian lives every week. has there ever been such a coup. i would submit to you in the entire length of the cold war the soviet union had no such success, no such success.
and why? because a former mayor of new york persuaded a presidt of of that. for a cheap shot at his political opponent, for a smear against his political opponent. was it worth it? i hope it was worth it. i hope it was worth it for the president. because it certainly wasn't worth it for the united states. now, you could see president trump did not blame vladimir putin and the russian intelligence agencies who interfere in our election for the questions surrounding his victory. he did not blame the people who worked are for his campaign and were subsequently convicted of lying to law enforcement agencies. no, he blamed the investigators. special counsel mueller the manr
putin a former russian intelligence officer rather than his own intelligence agencies. we can see a pattern here. president trump solicited interference from russia as a candidate and in his campaign welcomed russian interference. in helsinki president trump believed putin over his own agencies. i don't see any reason why it would be, referring to russia. instead of denouncing russia's interference he denounced those investigating russia's interference. and he raised that now familiar dnc crowdstrike server thing. i really do want to see the server. i don't think we can go on without finding out what happened to the server. that's the exact same server
that president trumpity manded ukraine investigate -- demanded ukraine investigate during his july 25th call to president zelensky. when he talked about the dnc server in helsinki with vladimir putin standing by his side he was resting the same discredited conspiracy theory of interference in 2016 that putin repeatedly promoted. let's look at this washington post article from july 20, 18. in the end trump's performance alongside putin like a tour through his most controversial conspiracy theories. tweets and off the cuff musings on russia except he did it abroad while standing feet from putin. the leader of one of america's geo political foes. spect cull in helsinki
underscored him to disregard his own advisors and intelligence community that russia interfered in the 206 elections and his apparent fear of pressing putin on the some might cast doubt on his electoral victory. white house officials told "wait re, quote, very much counter to the plan. that's another understatement of the century. if that sounds familiar, it's because the witness who testified before the house as part of the impeachment inquiry, they all said the same thing about the july 25th phone call. president ignore vital national security issues, he was supposed to raise and instead raised disproven conspiracies about 2016 and the dnc server, the very same russian propaganda he publicly endorsed in helsinki. do you think it's going to stop
now? do you think if we do nothing, it's going to stop now? all of the evidence is to the contrary, you know it's not going tstop. president just told one of the members of his body he still want biden investigated. it's not going to stop unless the congress does something about it. president trump's betrayal began in 2016 when he first solicited russian interference in our election. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> that betrailed continued in helsinki in 2018 and as we saw
rejected the intelligence community about russian interference in that same election. when he criticized u.s. officials investigating the russian interference and instead row moted putin's conspiracy theory about ukraine. the pa trail continued in 201 when he carried out a scheme to cheat in the 2020 election by demanding that the leader of ukraine, a u.s. partner under military attack by russia announce an investigation into the same baseless conspiracy theory about a dnc server and the bogus allegations about vice president biden. and the abuse of power continues. he is still trying to cheat in the next election. even after the scheme came to light. even after it became an impeachment inquiry, it continued. and the false statements about it continued. president trump repeatedly asserted that he had a prerogative to urge foreign nations to investigate u.s.
citizens who dare to challenge him politically. >> just for a minute we should try to step in the shoes of someone else. my father used to say you don't understand a person until you step in their shoes. i thought he invented that wisdom himself until he watched to kill a mockingbird and found ought atticuk finch said it first. let's try to step in someone's else's shoes for a moment. let's imagine it wasn't joe biden. let's imagine it was one of us. let's imagine the most powerful person in the world was asking a foreign nation to conduct a sham investigation into one of us. what would we think about it then.k f u.policy. would we think he has every right to do it. when we think that's a perfect
call. let's step for a minute into ambassador yovanovitch's shoes. and the subject of a vicious smear campaign but no one in the dope that we work for up -- department we work for up to the secretary of state thinks there's a shred of credibility. let's step in her shoes for a minute. spent her whole life devoted to public service served in dangerous places around the world. and we're hounded out of our post. and one day someone releases a transcript on of a call between the president of the united states and a foreign leader and the president cess there's going to be some -- and the president says there's going to be some things happening to you or to you or to you or to you or to you or to you. how would you feel about the president of the united states? would you think he was abusing
the power of his office? and if you would, it shouldn't matter that it wasn't. it shouldn't matter it was marie yovanovitch. it shouldn't matter if it was joe biden. because i'll tell you something, the next time it just may be you, it just may be you. do you think for a moment that any of you no matter what your relationship with this president and how close you are to this president, do you think for a moment that he felt it was in his interest, he wouldn't ask you to be investigated? doubt for a moment that he wouldn't. and if somewhere deep down below you realize that he would, you cannot leave a man liable that in office when -- like that in nstitution. he voir lated the in' biden, it could be any of us. it shouldn't matter it was maria
yovanovitch. it will be another person tomorrow for another pernicious reason. it goes to what mr. jeffrey seize it goes to characterization. you don't understand character in the high office of the land until you don't have it. we havea president willing to use his power to coerce an ally to help him cheat. to investigate one of our fellow citizens. one of our fellow citizens. yes, he's running for president. he's still a u.s. citizen. he's still a u.s. citizen and deserves better than that. of course it wasthe just ukraine, it wasn't just russia, there was the invitation to
china. to investigate the bidens. it's not going to stop. in september 19th rudy giuliani was interviewed on crisco mow on cnn. you all seen the clip when he used ukraine to look into vice president biden, mr. giuliani replied immediately of course i did. of course i do was it hunter biden on that call. it's joe biden. it shouldn't matter if it was hunter biden or joe biden we're talking about american citizens. it shouldn't matter to any us, which american citizens. and he hasn't stopped urging ukraine to conduct these investigations mr. giuliani
hasn't, donald trumphasn't. to the contrary and consistent with everything we know about the president, he has done nothing but double down. during his first week, the first week of december, mr. jewel traveled to ukraine in hungry to interview the corrupt former ukrainian prosecutors who had been pushing these false narratives about vice president biden and this kooky conspiracy about 206. mr. giuliani met with current members of ukraine parliament who advocated for that same fraudulent investigation. last year he told abc news he would take political dirt from a foreign country if he was offered it again. if he has learned anything there
the last few years is that he can get away with anything and do it again. can't be indicted and couldn't be impeached and if you believe our attorney general can't even be inestigated. oufounders worried situation just like this. james madison put it simply. president quote, might betray his trust to foreign powers. in his farewell address george washington warned americans to be constantly awake since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most bainful foes of republican government. john adams in a letter to thomas jefferson wrote you are apprehensive of foreign interference, intrigue influence, so am i. but as far as elections happen, the danger of foreign influence recurs.
or to quote, the president's chief of staff, get over it. there's going to be politics in adamst. and i don't thinthmes madison's point and i don't think that was george washington's point. if it was, they would have said get over it. they recognize as we recognize what a profound danger that would be for that to become the new norm. another election is a promise. 10 months voters will undertake the most important duty as citizens by going to the polls and voting for their leader. we must ask what role do foreign powers play trying to influence the outcome. if they take the president's
side, who will protect our franchise if the president will not? as charged in the first artic ip has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self governance and the rule of law. based on abuse of power for which he was impeached and his ongoing efforts to solicit foreign interference, both directly and through mr. giuliani, there can be little doubt that president trump will continue to invite foreign interference in our elections again and again. that poses an imminent threat to the integrity of o our founders understood that a president like dropped might one day grass -- donald trump might
himself only d wiing to sacrifice our democracy and mash security for his own personal advantage. his pattern of conduct repeatedly soliciting foreign interference in our election for his own person benefit confirms he will stop at nothing for his own power. he will put his own interest above the country and the integrity of our elections, there is every reason to believe that will continue. he has stone walled congress and ordered executive branch agencies, organizations that work for the american people not for the president, to join in his obstructi heeployed mr giuliani to ukraine to continue advancing the scheme that serves no other purpose than advancing his 2020 re-election prospects. he attacked witnesses, public
servants, patriots who stayed true to their oath and leveled with the american people about the grave national injury that resulted from the president's misconduct. and he continued to urge foreign nations to investigate american citizens that he views as a threat. the threat that he will continue to abuse his power and cause grave harm tot nation over the course of the next year until a new president is sworn in or until he would be ree heck is not -- re-elected the not hypothetical. mere me exposing the president's scheme has not stopped him from continuing this destructive pattern of behavior that has brought us to thisber moment. he is who he is. that will not change and nor will the danger associated with him. every piece of evidence supports thstates w abusenclusion that
again.thate wiit foreign interference to help corruptly secure his re-election. he has shown neither remorse nor acknowledgment of wrongdoing. if you can believe that july 25th was a perfect call that asking for investigations of your political opponents and using the power of your office to make it so it was perfectly fine, then there is nothing that would stop you from doing it again. president trump has abused the power of his office and must be removed from that office. >> the majority leader is iz