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Mick Mulvaney On Shaky Ground; First House Republican Supports Impeachment Inquiry. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired September 28, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: It's 5:00 in the nation's capital, 2:00 out west. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York, and you are live in the CNN Newsroom.
We have breaking news right now. Multiple sources tell CNN that acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, is now on shaky ground, following the release of the phone call transcript between President Trump and the president of Ukraine.
You'll recall that transcript revealed President Trump telling the Ukrainians how much the U.S. does for them, before saying he would like a favor. The president then goes on to ask Ukraine to investigate 2016 election meddling before turning his sights on his possible 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden, who was on the board of the Ukrainian energy company.
Now, according to the transcript, President Trump says, quote, "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me." That was from the president, according to the transcript released by the White House.
We have CNN's White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond live outside the White House this evening. Jeremy, we have learned that multiple people, including Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, urged President Trump to release this transcript. So, why is Mulvaney taking the heat?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Ana, there were multiple people who did encourage the president to release this transcript. The president, ultimately, decided to do so.
But that is not the reason, according to these sources, why the president is now upset, apparently, with the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. Rather, it's not the release of the transcript, but the lack of an apparent strategy from the White House to handle the fallout of that whistleblower leak.
We already know, from our past reporting, that this White House was indeed caught a little bit flat footed with the pace at which -- the speed at which House Democrats moved forward with this impeachment inquiry. And now, they are still struggling to, kind of, put the pieces together and figure out how they are going to respond.
Apparently, the president's frustrations and other White House officials' frustrations with Mick Mulvaney became clear during a meeting at the White House just yesterday, that's according to multiple officials.
Now, as far as Mick Mulvaney is concerned, a senior adviser to him, John Czwartacki, is denying it saying that has no basis in reality. This White House, though, is still trying to figure out its strategy for handling impeachment. The president's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, who we know handled many of the matters involving the president, with regards to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. He insists that there is no war room being set up, at the moment.
But we do expect him and another one of the president's attorneys, William Consovoy, to play a larger role going forward, in terms of responding and reacting to Democrats' moves towards impeachment -- Ana.
CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Thank you for that reporting.
Also this weekend, at least one administration official has quit his job in the wake of that whistleblower report. Sources confirm to CNN that U.S. special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, resigned yesterday evening. And he is mentioned by name in the complaint.
Let's bring in our National Security Reporter Kylie Atwood. And, Kylie, I understand you have some new information for us.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, that's right. So, just last week, hours before we learned that Kurt Volker was resigning, the House Foreign Affairs Committee said that they would be issuing depositions, a number of them, to five State Department officials. One of them is Kurt Volker. They wanted to hear from these officials, in terms of what they knew about the State Department's handling of the Ukraine controversy.
Now, Kurt Volker is going to be appearing, next Thursday, at this deposition, a source familiar with this discussion tells me. And what's important here, though, is because they're going so speedily with this process, he's going to be appearing next week, just days after he quit. But it's remarkable, because it's before there are -- sorry. It's before there are documents that have to be provided to the committee from the State Department.
And so, we could have a situation in which there are members of the Hill, who are going into this briefing with Kurt Volker, asking him stuff questions, but not coming prepped with everything that they need, that they could have from the State Department.
So, we're trying to figure out if they're going to be able to get everything that they need to prepare for that conversation. But I'm told, by folks on the Hill, that they don't anticipate to push it back any further. They want to hear from him as soon as possible.
CABRERA: And we know Volker has some ties to John McCain, right? Can you explain a little bit about those ties? Because we know McCain and Trump certainly didn't see eye to eye. And I just wonder, you know, if that has any kind of influence, if Volker is coming from that same perspective.
ATWOOD: Right. So, Volker worked for McCain. He maintained a role at the McCain Institute, while he was serving as Special Representative to Ukraine. That's not a traditional thing for folks to do. And because he did it, he was not paid by the State Department. He, basically, said that he was volunteering in the role. But, clearly, it was a very consequential role.
But the fact that he is so close with folks who were close with McCain and was close with McCain himself, that wasn't, necessarily, a positive thing, in the eyes of President Trump. It's not a winning characteristic, that's how someone described it to me, in the eyes of Trump.
So, there was never a point at which Volker was, really, inside Trump's inner circle while he was serving at the State Department. He was, kind of, on the periphery, trying to keep the president happy by doing everything that he could to try and appease him in the Giuliani situation. But there are, clearly, more questions about that. And because the White House already didn't love him because of those McCain connections, it'll be interesting to see what they continue to --
ATWOOD: -- say about him now that he has left. The State Department hasn't even put out a statement on his departure yet.
CABRERA: Well, and I'm so very interested now, given what you've just reported, too, learn what he has to say about all of this.
CABRERA: Thank you so much, Kylie Atwood, for that reporting.
And the fallout does not end there. There's also new stunning reporting from "The Washington Post." The paper reporting that President Trump dismissed election interference during this 2017 Oval Office meeting with the Russians.
Now, according to "The Post," the president told the Russians, during that meeting, that he did not care that they interfered in our elections in 2016, because the U.S., quote, "did the same in other countries."
You'll recall, this is the same meeting we learned about from Russia. That's the only reason we have these pictures. This comes as CNN learns that the White House has taken remarkable steps to prevent a call with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and a call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from ever becoming public.
Let's dig into this with Constitutional Law Attorney and Trump 2020 advisory board member, Jenna Ellis Rives, and former FBI special agent, Asha Rangappa. Jenna, I'll start with you. If there was nothing improper said on these calls, why go to such lengths to hide them?
JENNA ELLIS RIVES, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ATTORNEY: Well, you know, Ana, hiding is, really, the characterization of the left. And I would not characterize this that way. I mean, certainly, you have executive privilege. You have the -- President Trump being fully transparent. And, you know, this is something where the Democratic left continues to try to simply undermine legitimacy of this president by --
CABRERA: But hold on.
REVIS: -- by going to words like hiding.
CABRERA: Hold on. Hold on, though.
RIVES: We don't know that.
CABRERA: Well, they didn't take the normal procedures with these calls. In fact, our reporting is they didn't even have a transcript made of one of the phone calls, his conversations with MBS and the Saudi king.
RIVES: Well, we don't actually know that process. I mean, when we look at the -- you know, there have been claims in Congress that the Ukraine phone call with the president was put into this, you know, secret computer server and that that was out of process. All of that is speculation. And when you're going to "The Post" for where you're taking your -- you know, your talking points, you're your information from, I think that that's jumping to conclusions.
And so, hiding, again, is trying to -- that term is trying to mischaracterize this as something nefarious, when we have to let the process play out. And we have to actually look at what the evidence shows. And what the evidence is here is that there was nothing going on that was improper whatsoever.
And so, again, if I am advising the president on how to handle this impeachment inquiry, it would be the same exact way that he has handled the attempt to undermine his election, from Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and the sealed dossier. How he has handled --
RIVES: -- the Mueller investigation. And how he's handling this second witch hunt which is to provide full transparency, to not allow the Democrats to undermine it, and to simply continue on, keeping his promise to the American people. CABRERA: Before I turn to Asha, I just want to make sure the facts
get out. That we don't know that there was nothing wrong with how the president handled these calls. Our reporting, and what we've learned from the transcript and then the whistleblower complaint, suggests perhaps otherwise.
Asha, if there is no transcript of a call, for example, with foreign leaders, is that against the law?
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the Presidential Records Act requires that there be documentation of, you know, the things that the president does. And that they -- you know, if there's notes made, they shouldn't be destroyed, for example.
And, in fact, there is an executive order that governs how information is classified. A code word classified system is meant for highly sensitive, top secret, you know, information. Things like covert actions which you can't even talk about.
You cannot put things in there, because you are trying to conceal something that is personally or politically embarrassing. That is actually laid out in the executive order. So, it would be a misuse of the classification system, if that was being done.
And I believe that it (INAUDIBLE) in Congress' purview to determine whether there was a concealment of that evidence. And, Ana, I will also add that, with regard to the comments that were made to the Russians following the firing of James Comey about not worrying about Russian interference. That is concerning because that would be evidence that would go to Mueller's obstruction investigation.
RANGAPPA: In terms motive.
CABRERA: So, why didn't we learn about this --
RANGAPPA: You know, --
CABRERA: -- when we were reading the Mueller report?
RANGAPPA: Because they were hiding it.
RIVES: No. I mean, this is -- you know, you have the full Mueller report. The White House has been fully transparent. Everything that Mueller wanted, Mueller got.
And so, again, characterizing this -- I mean, you are flip-flopping here, Ana, by saying that --
RANGAPPA: Mueller wanted to interview the president and he wouldn't sit down with him. RIVES: Well, and there's no law that requires that he has to. But
what you're saying at first is he's hiding something. And now, suddenly, we have all of this other stuff that now, you know, they're not hiding.
And so, just in your questions to me, you're asking, why is the president hiding things? And then, you're asking, you know, the Democratic opponent to say, why is he -- why do we have all of this evidence? You can't have it both ways here.
And so, what the -- what the Democratic left is trying to do is to say we have enough to impeach, but, yet, you're still trying to hide things. You've got -- we're going through the process but the president hasn't. And this is trying, again, to completely twist the process and make some kind of claim that has no legal or constitutional basis here.
And so, we have to --
RANGAPPA: Your --
CABRERA: Jenna, we don't know what the impeachment investigation will turn up. But you say Trump's --
CABRERA: -- Ukrainian call and the transcript, there is a nothing burger.
RIVES: We have that.
CABRERA: We're learning Mick Mulvaney is now on shaky ground --
CABRERA: -- because of it. Make your case as to why you think Democrats are getting it wrong here.
RIVES: Well, so, we have the best evidence. We have the transcript, which, you know, by the way, if we're talking about hiding things or going against the Presidential Records Act, clearly, that was a contemporaneous record of the phone call so there's no violation there. But we don't have anything here.
And the Democrats are jumping to impeachment before they even saw the transcript or the complaint. But, according to the U.S. Constitution, which is objective, it's not a matter of opinion, there is no treason. This is with an ally. This is with Ukraine. This is asking that's fully within the scope of --
RANGAPPA: Who's talking about treason?
RIVES: -- the president's authority. Bribery is not a claim here, because this does not go -- the Federal Bribery Statute does not allow for, you know, --
RIVES: -- foreign. And then, also, other crimes or misdemeanors.
RIVES: There is, literally, --
CABRERA: Finish your thought.
RIVES: -- no statute that can point to.
CABRERA: Ok, Asha, go for it.
RANGAPPA: Ana, yes, when the framers wrote the Constitution, there, actually, wasn't a substantive federal criminal code. So, trying to look for statutes, most of which did not emerge until the early 20th century, is not really helpful in understanding what treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors mean.
In fact, what the framers meant, by high crimes and misdemeanors, is that the president owes a fiduciary duty. That means he must act in the public interest. He cannot use his presidential authority for private gain which is exactly what the Ukraine call about. And, for all we know, there could be other calls that substantiate this.
On the other point, you know, your guest is suggesting that the Democrats are jumping to impeachment. There is a difference between an impeachment inquiry and actual impeachment. The inquiry is the investigation that is used to uncover evidence to see if articles of impeachment are warranted. We are not at that stage yet. But what we have is what -- in the criminal justice analogue, a reasonable suspicion that such an inquiry is warranted.
So, I think what you have is, you know, a lot of word salad happening that's conflating a lot of different terms. But I think it's really important for your viewers to really understand the process. And, also, what the terms in the Constitution mean by the people who actually wrote them.
CABRERA: Asha Rangappa and Jenna Ellis Rives, great to have both of you with us. I appreciate the spirited discussion and your expertise. Thank you.
RIVES: Thank you.
RANGAPPA: Thank you.
CABRERA: The president admits it. His attorney admits it. The whistleblower shows it. The transcript shows it. But the word, for most Republicans, nothing to see here. So, will we see cracks in the GOP? You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: The ultimate judge and jury for President Trump will not be Democrats. It will be Republican senators and, ultimately, voters. So, are there cracks within the GOP? Let's review the cracks. Remember, a lot of the evidence that we know of is public. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place, was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son, creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.
RUDY GIULIANI, ADVISOR TO DONALD TRUMP: Of course I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And this from the whistleblower's report. I'm quoting here. "I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the president of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main domestic political rivals."
And the memorandum or the rough transcript of the call released by the White House is consistent. The president is quoted as saying, the other thing. There's a lot of talk about Biden's son that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that.
So, whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if he can look into it. It sounds horrible to me.
So far, GOP lawmakers have said very little. Just last night, Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei became the first House Republican to support this impeachment inquiry. But he does make it clear he doesn't support impeachment, at least right now, but he supports following the facts.1
But it's lonely at the top right now. Here's what we've heard from other GOP lawmakers. Many told us they haven't read the whistleblower complaint, despite it being the talk of the nation for the past three days. Some had no comment. Very few have spoken publicly about it. And even fewer have expressed concern, like Senator Mitt Romney who called the whistleblower complaint deeply troubling. That quickly put Romney on the receiving end of one of the president's attacks.
Joining us now is host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" at the top of the hour, S.E. Cupp and CNN Political Commentator, and former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent. Congressman, I've got to ask you first. How do you think these same Republican lawmakers would be responding right now if there were a Democratic president in the White House?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, my goodness, they'd be setting themselves on fire. This would be a human rights' violation, Ana. I mean, they'd be absolutely apoplectic about it.
And so, I -- that's what would happen. I mean, there's a lot of hypocrisy here to be sure. I think most Republican lawmakers know this is a problem. I think the House is not reacting as concerned as they should be.
I think these senators have a lot to be concerned about, particularly those who are up, like Susan Collins and Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis. I think, you know, independent and swing voters, are -- you know, they're going to put a lot of pressure on these members.
And Donald Trump puts these Republican members in an impossible position. You know, he demands loyalty. The base demands loyalty. At the same time, many of these members need swinging independent voters to win. And they just can't satisfy both constituencies.
CABRERA: So, we've heard now from Senator Mitt Romney, calling this deeply troubling. Senator Ben Sasse says, quote, "Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons to say there's no there there, when there's, obviously, lots that's very troubling there." Now, we have this lone House Republican saying he supports an inquiry.
S.E., are you seeing signs of cracks within the GOP?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Some. Look, Congressman Amodei is right to not support impeachment yet. No one on either side should support impeachment yet. But supporting an inquiry is, sort of, the least we should expect.
And it should not be a partisan or spectacular show of courage to admit the obvious which is that this is deeply troubling, as Mitt Romney said. I think any lawmaker who takes an oath to support the laws of the Constitution should be able to admit readily, and without fear of retribution, this is troubling and we should follow the facts. The facts are clear.
CABRERA: So, is this a fear of retribution that is holding them back?
CUPP: I think there's a number of things going on. Yes, there's being at the -- you know, the receiving end of Trump's tweets and his tirades. That's been effective. See a number of senators and congressmen, my friend Charlie Dent included, who, you know, were, sort of, a casualty of that kind of climate. They don't want to -- they don't want to face that.
But I also think there is just such a low bar for Republicans in Congress right now to have some courage to say anything. And there's such a blanket of cover and silence that many feel that they don't have to. But I'm here to tell you, we remember your name. It's not just about the Republican Party and how the party survives this. We'll remember your name, Congressman, Senator. You will be held accountable for what you do and don't do right now.
CABRERA: You know, since President Trump took office, there has been all this talk of the silent GOP lawmakers. Congressman, is now the time for them to come forward?
DENT: Look, I think many of them are going to have to speak up. Because what we were hearing from the president, ad nauseum, you know, for many months that there was no collusion. No collusion, with respect to the Mueller and the Russia investigation.
And now, we have, in plain English, in black and white, in both the phone transcript and in the whistleblower complaint, the president attempting to collude with a foreign head of government, implicating his own Attorney General, using the power of the United States government to investigate a political rival. And I'm not even getting into the alleged quid pro quo.
So, I think this is -- I think many Republicans, you know, have to be dealing with this in a -- in a -- in a more forceful way. They -- as S.E. said, at the very least, they have to support a thorough and robust investigation --
DENT: -- into this. Because there is, clearly, an abuse of office and attempt to use official government resources for campaign purposes. And the secretary of state is in trouble over this as is the Attorney General. There are problems everywhere for this administration and for these members.
CABRERA: S.E., let me read you something from Senator Flake, who is now former Senator Jeff Flake, --
CABRERA: -- a Republican who was very critical of the president when he was in office. He predicted that close to three dozen Republican senators would back impeachment. We know how critical that is should it end up landing in the Senate's lap and the GOP has the majority there.
CABRERA: Do you think that's true?
CUPP: Well, the crucial part of what he said was if there were a silent vote.
CABRERA: A silent vote. CUPP: And there isn't a silent vote. That's not how this works. I mean, I guess, you know, the Senate could change the rules there. But it's not a silent vote. They'll have to go on record.
And that's what is driving me absolutely mad. This constant, well, privately, Republicans say. Or if there were a silent vote, Republicans will. What good is that? What does that accomplish? What good is private hand-wringing, if you're not doing it in public?
You were elected to represent your constituents, represent your state, your country. Why aren't you going on record to say what you actually believe? This is why people hate politics and distrust politicians on both sides of the aisle. This very thing.
CABRERA: On that happy note, we'll end it. Thank you.
CUPP: Yes, right.
CABRERA: S.E. Cupp and former Congressman Charlie Dent, good to see both of you. I appreciate it. Make sure you tune into --
DENT: Take care. Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: -- S.E.'s show at the top of the hour, "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" right here on CNN.
Now, the legal questions surrounding this impeachment inquiry are many. Your weekly cross-examine is next. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[17:30:11] SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This latest business with Ukraine where it appear that he is willing to take taxpayer's dollars and dangle them in front of a foreign country in order to help himself and his own political chances of being reelected, it is wrong. It is a violation of the law and Congress has a duty to perform. That is impeachment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: That was of course presidential candidate senator Elizabeth Warren moments ago talking to the press after hosting a town hall in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Phone calls, cover-ups and alleged election meddling, the biggest controversy of the Trump controversy is taking over Washington as Democratic lawmakers push ahead on subpoenas and hearings in their impeachment inquiry.
That brings us to our weekly segment cross exam with CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, Elie Honig. And he is here, of course, to answer your questions about legal news. And of course we are doing it Saturday. We usually do it Sunday for those viewers who are not used to it at home, this is where we do. We get the viewer questions, they send them in and then we give them the answers here live.
The first question from our viewer, does impeachment have to be based on statutory crime?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, here we go. This is happening. This story is blowing up. Our inbox is blowing up from viewers. So, thank you. Keep them coming.
No, this is very important. Impeachment does not have to be based on a statutory crime. The House certainly can impeach based on a crime, but they also can impeach on anything that they find to be an abuse of power.
Now, we have the phrase from a constitution, high crime and misdemeanors. And I think it causes a lot of confusions because on its face, it certainly sounds like, well, that has to be a crime. But if you do a little historical digging, that phrased was pulled from the 1700s British parliamentary procedure. And the way it was used there was to include crimes but also misuse of office or abuse of power.
If you look at our own historical president, Andrew Johnson was impeached based on abuse of power. No crime, he was then acquitted in the senate.
Richard Nixon, never actually impeached but a draft article of impeachment for abuse of power.
Bill Clinton had draft article of impeachment against him as well for abuse of power. That was voted down by the House.
But historical precedent is there. So it is really important that our viewers keep this in mind going forward. When you hear this refrain of no crime, you do not need one.
CABRERA: So no crime doesn't necessarily mean no impeachment vote.
CABRERA: Another viewer wants to know do you see any federal crimes in Trump's actions toward the Ukrainian president regarding the Bidens.
HONIG: So you do not need a crime. But if you have a crime, you certainly have a better basis to proceed. So I do see several potential crimes here based on the call between the president and the president of Ukraine.
First of all, bribery, right. Is there an exchange? That is what is boils down to. The promise can be direct or indirect. And the key line here -- I think the like that may live through history is I want you do us a favor. The idea here is the exchange is aid in exchange for dirt on the Bidens.
Now, is that enough? There is some fair debate on that. But I have seen real-life bribery cases based on less clear exchanges than that.
The you have extortion. Extortion is sort of the flip side of the same coin as bribery. Bribery is if you give me this benefit, I'll do this thing to help you. Extortion is if you don't give me this benefit, I will do this to hurt you. So I think that they are closely aligned.
And then you have foreign election aid. It is a crime to elicit foreign national assistance from a foreign national. Doesn't even matter if there is an exchange. So I think that is the easiest shot here if someone needs to prove a crime.
So again, you do not need to prove a crime. But if you have one, I think you have an extra strong case for impeachment.
CABRERA: This week's revelation have raise more questions about other calls the President may have had with foreign leaders. One viewer asked will the House review only the Ukrainian affair or can they look at other acts during its impeachment investigation.
HONIG: So the House certainly has a lot of menu items to chose from. They have the Ukraine scandal. Let's not forget Robert Mueller. We have (INAUDIBLE), meaning the President's use of office to personally enrich himself and potentially obstruction of Congress.
My advice to the House would be let's be strategically selective. When I was a prosecutor, people used to say go for the jugular, not every capillary. Make your strongest case. Get it out there. Get it in, get it out. So I think certainly Ukraine is going to be front and center. There is an interesting decision about do we just abandon Robert Mueller's findings? I think if the House is going to stick with Mueller, stick with the one or two most important and easily digestible things.
Ultimately, Ana, I think now that House Democrats are sort of charging down this road, it is going to be really tough to turn back. And, you know, ultimately it is going to be I think it is very likely that the House does end up voting to impeach. The big question will be what does the Senate then do when it comes up to them, whether they vote to convict and remove.
CABRERA: And very quickly, your three questions for the week.
HONIG: First of all, is any legislation is going to move while this is all pending? The President has already I think held the gun legislation hostage. He said, well, now that I am being investigated, I'm not moving. Ana, I think he was looking for an excuse.
Second of all, how is the timing going to play out? We are coming up on the 2020 election. The House has a lot of investigation to do. Nancy Pelosi seems to understand that and seems to have given instructions we need to move quickly. And I think she is right. And the big question, will any Republicans break rank. You are starting to see some beginning of some cracks there. If
Republicans do start turning on the President and decide that they don't want to turn themselves to this, then I think that is the big question that I think the future of this presidency will hang on.
[17:35:21] CABRERA: Elie Honig, always a pleasure.
HONIG: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you.
Every hour, a new headline. Next, we will take you back, walking you through how we got here. A whistleblower time line straight ahead.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:39:39] CABRERA: The developments of the last week coming so fast so furious, few of us can keep up. So let's just pause and look back on when we first found out about this whistleblower and what has happened since.
We learned of a whistleblower just this month, Friday the 13th, when House intel chairman Adam Schiff issued a subpoena to the acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire to produce a whistleblower complaint that the intelligence community inspector general had called a matter of urgent concern. This was more than a month after the complaint was originally filed with the intel IG.
Now Schiff wouldn't find out about the complaint until September 9th. A day later, Schiff demands Maguire turnover the complaint. And this is where things really start to move quickly. September 17th, Maguire refuses to testify. Twenty-four hours later, he says that he will brief the house intel committee. And now we start to learn more about what the complaint was about.
On September 19th, the "Washington Post" and "New York Times" report the whistleblower's concern because partly in regards to Ukraine. The next day reporting that President Trump pressed Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden's son during a July phone call. The President would later confirmed that he did discussed Biden.
Now to Tuesday of this week, Trump announces the White House will release a transcript of his call with Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, same day House speaker Nancy Pelosi announces a formal impeachment inquiry into the President. And before the day is over, Schiff says the whistleblower is interested in testifying.
To Wednesday as the president meets with his Ukrainian counterpart at the U.N., the White House releases their transcript of that July 25th phone call. And the list of Democrats who support the opening of an impeachment inquiry now tops 200.
Then on Thursday, the nine page whistleblower complaint released, just before the acting director of the national intelligence testifies before House intel.
We are back in a moment.
[17:45:40] CABRERA: In Houston, a community is reeling after a sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Friday during a routine traffic stop. Sandeep Dhaliwal was the first member of the Sikh community to join the force. The sheriff describing the shooting as ambush-style. And now the suspect has been charged with murder.
CNN's Natasha Chen has more.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is how people deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. In this video, he is playing with a deaf child in the Harris County community, but now the laughter is gone after Dhaliwal, the first Sikh deputy was shot and killed at a traffic stop Friday. The sheriff says as Dhaliwal was returning to his patrol car in this Harris County neighborhood.
SHERIFF ED GONZALEZ, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: A male specific exited the vehicle armed with a pistol and in a cold blooded manner ambush style shot deputy Dhaliwal from behind.
CHEN: With no chance for the deputy to unholster his weapon, the suspect, 47-year-old Robert Solis was denied bail after being charged with capital murder. Investigators say dash cam video shows no indication of a conflict during the traffic stop. They say the suspect fled the scene by car but was found along with a female passenger at a nearby business.
Court documents show Solis was released on parole in 2014 after being sentenced for aggravated kidnapping. The sheriff also says Solis had an active parole violation warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon from January 2017. People at a vigil Friday night didn't focus on how Dhaliwal died bud how het how he lived.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember that he would always come check on me (INAUDIBLE) outside just because I wasn't feeling well.
CHEN: Four years ago when the sheriff's office changed their policy so Dhaliwal could wear his turbine on the job. Dhaliwal said he did not expect to encounter racism or hate.
SANDEEP DHALIWAL, VICTIM: It will give me a chance to open up the conversation.
CHEN: A conversation now focused on how to honor his memory.
Natasha Chen, CNN.
CABRERA: When natural disasters strike, 2017 top ten CNN hero Stan Hayes delivers a key ingredient, confident in the form of barbecue. Operation barbeque released mobilizes their armies, masters and volunteers to feed survivors and first responder all across the U.S. and now Stan and his organization are going international.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 the organization is going over on this plane. For us, this is a huge milestone.
We hate to see disasters happen, but we are so blessed that we can provide them comfort through a good hot barbecue meal. The folks there, they just need a hot meal and then lift that is what these meals are. Just taking their mind away from what is happening means a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: To see more, go to CNNheroes.com.
We are back in a moment.
[17:52:28] CABRERA: When you hear the name Ted Turner, what comes to mind? Media mogul, founder of CNN, owner of the Atlanta Braves, the guy who donated a billion dollars to the United Nations? As it turns out all of those things were part of a larger plan centered around saving the planet. And it's this part of Ted's life that's the focus of a documentary airing tonight, and hosted by CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, thanks for joining us.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
CABRERA: I hear Ted's motto is save everything. That's a pretty tall order. Where did this start from?
GUPTA: Yes. I mean, it's interesting. It is save everything. It is who he is. He even has a bumper sticker he gave me. It's Ted's world. For him saving everything means you have to save everything on the planet in order to save the planet itself.
What I think is most remarkable about Ted, I have known him in all the ways you have described, Ana, but how early this started for him. His idea to make a difference when it came to the climate was amazing. And his own captain was Jacques Cousteau, somebody who had a great influence on him. Take a listen of this conversation.
GUPTA: There's a store you Are on the Amazon on his boat "Calypso." This is in the early 1980s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without cutting any tree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
GUPTA: Cousteau invites Ted down to the delta of the Amazon. And Ted and Cousteau are out on board the deck. And he is telling you, Ted, coral reefs are being destroyed, bellwether species are being lost. Ice caps are melting. There are freshwater droughts. What did you think at the time when Jacques Cousteau was telling that?
TED TURNER, MEDIA MOGUL: I was concerned and I resolved to do whatever I could to help it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mankind can expect from exploiting the Amazon maybe very little, maybe a lot. I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted said, captain, I came down here to be inspired, and this is all bumming me out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being myself very eek logically minded --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want me to do? He said you need to use your reach through CNN to affect people's lives, and to educate them.
GUPTA: You know, it's amazing, Ana. He had this environment sort of gene, I would say, from a very early age, but it was Cousteau who really I think jump-started a more definitive plan with regarding saving the environment, and using CNN, you know, which Ted owned, obviously, as a major plate form for that.
CABRERA: Right. An opportunity to education and also spread the word. Something Ted Turner has done is reintroduced tens of thousands of bison to his ranchland. How does that work for saving the planet?
[17:55:09] GUPTA: That was the biggest question I have. How does the bison part fit in? Because bison who live in the grasslands of north America interact with the environment in the grasslands differently than cattle do. Cattle tend to trample it. Bison tend to make sure it stays pretty robust like you see there. And the reason that it's important is these grasslands are big carbon dioxide sinks, Ana. They pull carbon dioxide out of the air.
CABRERA: It is nice to see Ted in that clip. How has he been doing? I know over the last year there has been some news about his health. What was it like to visit him in Montana?
GUPTA: You know, it's interesting. I have known Ted for so long, Ana. He has been a boss, a colleague, a friend. So it's tough. You know, some of what's happening with him. He has a condition know as Louie body dementia. That is a type of dement dementia. And so, you know, there's times when he gets tired, more forgetful. You know, we are used to seeing him so robust. He is 80 now.
But I can tell you this. I mean, we had some deep conversations still, conversations that, you know, really require, you know not only memory, but really putting together all these different thoughts. And it was just as fun talking to him now, as it has been in the past, because that part of his memory, and that part of his persona, that has not gone. That is still there.
CABRERA: That's sew good to hear. We wish him well.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you.
GUPTA: Thank you.
CABRERA: As always. See how a billionaire ace businessman's every move was part of a planning to save the planet.
Ted Turner, Captain Planet, airs tonight here on CNN.
And tomorrow night, the two return of "declassified" at 9:00, followed by "This Is Life" with Lisa Ling at 10:00.
That does it for me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. My colleague S.E. Cupp continues after a quick break. Good night.