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AT THIS HOUR

Giuliani: State Department Asked Me to Reach Out to Ukraine; Joe Biden Accuses Trump of Trying to Hijack Election; Presidential Candidate & Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) Discusses Trump/Zelensky Controversy, Whistleblower Complaint, Impeachment & Next Debate; New Season of "This Is Life With Lisa Ling" Premiers Sunday Night at 10:00 P.M.; Markets Largely Shrug Off Impeachment Inquiry. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired September 27, 2019 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:31:11]

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has become a key figure in the Ukraine controversy and now the center of the whistleblower complaint.

To the point, the complaint calls Rudy Giuliani, quote, "a central figure in this effort." The effort being pushing Ukraine to go after Joe Biden.

Giuliani insists his actions are on the up and up and he's calling on the U.S. special representative to Ukraine to back him up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, PERSONAL ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: He should step forward and explain what he did. The whistleblower falsely alleges that I was operating on my own. Well, I wasn't operating on my own.

I went to meet Zelensky's aid at the request of the State Department. Fifteen memos make that clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CNN national security reporter, Kylie Atwood, has more on the role of Giuliani in all of this.

With Rudy Giuliani, you can expect there will be an interview a day.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes.

That's just the way he rolls. What more are you learning about Giuliani's role?

ATWOOD: What Giuliani has been saying is just words up until now. Now he's providing some proof of his interactions with the State Department over the last few months because he said he was directed by the State Department to engage with Ukrainian officials. The State Department, up until this point, said all they did was allow

Ambassador Kurt Volker to connect a Ukrainian aid with Giuliani. That's a lot less than what Giuliani is alleging. But he's now providing proof.

Let's look at one these tweets he just sent out -- it's a text - sorry 0-a text he received from Kurt Volker, a special representative to Ukraine from the State Department.

He said, "Mr. Mayor, really enjoyed breakfast this morning. As discussed, connecting you hear with Andrew Gurmack (ph), who is very close to President Zelensky. I suggest we schedule a time together on Monday, maybe 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. Washington time."

In this complaint, there were concerns by U.S. officials that Giuliani was circumventing the national security process. And I've heard that from State Department officials.

But Pompeo yesterday said everything that the State Department officials were doing was entirely appropriate. We asked the State Department if he still stands by that. We're waiting for an update.

BOLDUAN: And it's not just State Department officials. Many in the public and Capitol Hill think that Rudy Giuliani's roll in this is a big problem for everybody involved. Short of any issues, Giuliani, what he's been doing is not helping.

Giuliani also did an interview, spoke with "The Atlantic" after the complaint came out, saying he does not deserve scrutiny. He actually deserves praise. What does he mean?

ATWOOD: He said he is the whistleblower is being cast as the hero here and he is the one who should be the hero. He said he's looking forward to watching the State Department sync themselves as they try to create distance between him and the State Department over the last few months. He's proving he's willing to come out with something to show that.

The State Department is remaining quiet today.

BOLDUAN: We'll see how long it lasts.

Good to see you, Kylie. Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

[11:34:17]

Coming up, Joe Biden has found himself at the center of all of this, and he's fighting back, accusing the president of trying to hijack the election. That's next.

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BOLDUAN: Remember how this whistleblower complaint all came about in the first place? It was the president's call with Ukraine and pushing Ukraine to investigate the frontrunner in the Democratic primary, Joe Biden. Joe Biden is now responding, saying what the president is trying to do

is, quote, "a tactic that's used by the president to try to hijack an election."

How will this all impact the 2020 election? The 2020 race right now?

Joining me is the Democratic president candidate, the governor of Montana, Steve Bullock.

Governor, thanks for being here.

GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Kate, great to be with you this morning.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

I want to get your take on, now that the whistleblower complaint has been out and what it alleges about President Trump?

[11:40:00]

BULLOCK: Yes, I think the withholding of money, the asking the president of Ukraine to do us a favor, the directing Ukraine to work with his personal lawyer and the attorney general, and the cover-up, and putting this on a different classified server makes certain e-mail servers seem small ball.

I think the impeachment inquiry has to go forward. And I don't celebrate that. Often what is best for our country might not be the best politically.

BOLDUAN: So you think the impeachment proceedings should go forward. Do this change your position? Are you in a place now that I have heard from other Democratic candidates of impeachment now?

BULLOCK: Well, I think the inquiry certainly has to get forward. Get all the information, let it run its course.

But we also have to recognize there's a lot of people who will think this is a cover-up, or basically trying to beat up on President Trump. I think the greatest threat to our country in many respects is how divided we are politically.

So we need to take this action, but we have to be judicious in doing so.

In Montana, even folks that I may disagree with, I try to respect them, I try to listen to them.

So we need to take he access, see where it goes. And that very well may be at this point for the good of our country and the accountability of this country that he does need to be impeached.

BOLDUAN: This is important. I'm heard you say about impeachment that that is not what people are asking you about on the campaign trail. Has that changed this week? BULLOCK: No, Kate, it hasn't been what people are talking about. I

don't want to make the next year-plus all about Donald Trump.

I want to make it sure we're taking care of people's health care, their education, economic needs.

But really, at the end of the day, this becomes bigger than this national election. This becomes about the accountability of a president and the abuse of power along the way.

So election be darned, if you will, that we have to make sure to take these actions just because the potential in his conduct of the norms of this representative democracy are severely under siege right now.

BOLDUAN: This puts Joe Biden at the center of this because of the what the president asked the Ukrainian president to do. There's no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden or his son. But even with that, do you think this is a political problem for Joe Biden?

BULLOCK: I think it's another example where the president, when he's backed into a corner, he tries to deflect and make it about everybody else.

I don't think his references to Vice President Biden will impact the overall election, but his references in asking a foreign leader to take action against a presidential candidate, that's not just an attack on Joe Biden, but every one of us presidential candidates.

BOLDUAN: That's interesting.

The deadline to qualify for the CNN debate in Ohio is next week. Ohio voters are the exact voters that you are appealing to. Are you going to make the cut, Governor?

BULLOCK: I don't think I'll make certainly this next cut. It's the only one in this field that won as a Trump state. We have to win places back like Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

So frustrating in some respects with the DNC rules. We're also four months away from any voter actually expressing a preference. I'm counting on those early states.

BOLDUAN: You are unique in the field. You're the only governor left. And you are the only candidate who has won in a state that Trump has won as well.

If you're not up on the stage, though, how do you effectively draw that contrast?

BULLOCK: That's one of those things that we do need to win back places we lost if we're going to win this election. We need to get those Obama/Trump voters.

And I've spent a lot of times in Iowa. Iowa is a state where a third of their counties went Obama, Obama, Trump. Even polling last week showed less than a third of people in Iowa even watched those debates. I don't think what will define who our nominee is against President

Trump is all about national debates, but about trying to get your moment to get additional $1 donors.

BOLDUAN: A good point is no matter what happens in the debate, the polls have not changed much post.

Real quick, Kamala Harris' campaign said they need to finish in the top three in Iowa to survive. Do you feel the same way?

BULLOCK: I think every one of the candidates running has to be in the top three or four. That's always been my plan.

Recognize even about 40 days out from 2004 election, John Kerry was at four points. Al Sharpton was beating him in polling. Once he won Iowa, that propelled him along. Same with Senator Obama. He was down significantly against Hillary Clinton in 2007 at this time.

I think really for all of the candidates, it's those early states that are going to take the big field and winnow it down. I plan on being one of those.

BOLDUAN: Steve Bullock, all eyes on Iowa.

Governor, thanks for being here. I really appreciate it.

BULLOCK: Thank you, Kate.

[11:45:03]

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: When natural disasters strike, 2017 top-10 "CNN Hero" Stan Hays jumps into action with Operation Barbecue Relief. It mobilizes an army of pit masters and volunteers to feed survivors and first responders across the United States. And we caught up with them and they hit a major milestone. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STAN HAYS, CNN HERO: We are getting ready to ship over to the Bahamas 10,000 meals. This is our first international mission. Our three- millionth meal since we started in 2011, is going over on this plane. For us that's a huge milestone.

We hate to see disasters happen, but we're so blessed we can provide them comfort through a good hot barbecue meal.

The folks that just need a hot meal, a lift up. That's what they meals are.

You bet. Thank you, sir.

HAYES: If it takes their minds away from what's happening to them for a few minutes, it means a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: For more on Operation Barbecue Relief, go to CNNheroes.com.

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[11:51:19]

BOLDUAN: This Sunday, Lisa Ling is back with an all new season of "THIS IS LIFE.". In the first episode, she's taking on a big topic that a lot of people might not want to talk about, online porn. Specifically, Lisa looks at how online porn is impacting kids and teenagers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" (voice-over): Every kid with a to a computer or Smartphone has access to porn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was exposed when I was seven or eight.

LING (on camera): Would you say that porn was your sex ed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our generation is consumed by pornography.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the largest epidemic that not a lot of people want to talk about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Lisa Ling is here with me now.

Lisa, this is fascinating and troubling, what you're focusing on in this first episode. What was it that drew you to this for the series?

LING: Well, people are talking about it. Parents are talking about what to do because their children have accessed pornography. And even if you have the most stringent filters on your phones, it's so easily accessible.

Kids are pretty adept at bypassing things.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly.

LING: But also if you put simple words, words that aren't even listed into Google, and click on "imagines," it's astounding what comes up.

When you think about these young brains in this prime stage of development, if they're exposed to an abundance of pornography and they've never had conversations about what sex is supposed to be, it can affect them for the rest of their lives. You can't erase what you've seen. Some of the stuff out there is disturbing.

BOLDUAN: This should not be their first foray into sexual education and intimacy. This should not be how they learn. LING: It's true. First of all, we need to wake up, and we need to

start having conversations with our kids probably a lot earlier than we ever thought we would.

But having conversations about simple anatomy. And when they're on devices, if they come across something that is confusing to them or may be disturbing to them, they should be able to talk about it freely. They shouldn't be punished. They shouldn't be condemned. But allow them to know that this is a safe place to have conversations.

I really hope that this is a wake-up call for parents.

BOLDUAN: This is just the first episode, one that -- as I said, it was really eye opening for me.

What else is on tap for the season?

LING: Our second episode is also a really important episode about Benzodiazepines. These are Valium, Xanax, Ativan, some of the most widely prescribed medications in the world and how dangerous they potentially are for people use them long term.

BOLDUAN: Another wake up conversation.

LING: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: It's great to see you. Thanks for being here.

LING: Good to see you. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Looking forward to another great series. I can't wait to see all the episodes.

The all new season of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" premiers this Sunday at 10:00 p.m., only on CNN.

[11:55:26]

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: As Washington is consumed by the whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry into President Trump now, how is Wall Street reacting?

CNN business correspondent, Alison Kosik, is at the New York Stock Exchange for us.

Alison, what are you see and hear there right now?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Not seeing much reaction here as far as an impeachment process goes. The market doesn't seem to be caring about it right now. We see the Dow in the green. In the end, what the market really cares about are trade deals, trade

deals with Japan, with China, with Europe, whoever. It's those trade deals that are fundamental to stock prices. And the way the market sees it, it's those deals that give real value to stock prices.

As far as impeachment goes, it has added a level of volatility to the market. I think it will continue to buzz in the background.

But if you look historically, it's really had little effect on the market. During the Nixon era, the economy wasn't strong and stocks fell 33 percent. But during the Clinton impeachment, S&P 500 rose to 27 percent.

In the end, Kate, it all depends on the strength or weakness of the economy -- Kate?

[12:00:05]

BOLDUAN: Something to keep an eye on regardless of impeachment --

KOSIK: Right.

BOLDUAN: -- on where the economy stands.

Alison, thanks so much.

KOSIK: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: And thanks --