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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Subpoenaed For Ukraine Documents; Rudy Giuliani And AG Barr Likely to be Called to Testify; White House Limited Access to Trump's Calls With Putin and Saudi Prince; WAPO: Trump Told Russian Officials in 2017 He Wasn't Concerned About Moscow's Interference in U.S. Elections; Ukraine Envoy Kurt Volker is Named in Whistleblower Report. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 28, 2019 - 08:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have learned the White House efforts to limit access to President Trump's conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow's interference in the U.S. election.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: CNN has confirmed that Kurt Volker, President Trump's Ukraine Diplomat, has now suddenly resigned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House in crisis. We just learned the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just been subpoenaed by three House Committees.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Democrats saying if they don't get this information from this subpoena or other subpoenas, it will only strengthen their case for impeachment.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): To impeach any President over a phone call like this would be insane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President is blatantly extorting a foreign leader.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No push, no pressure, no nothing. It's all a hoax, folks. It's all a big hoax.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND, with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Its top of the hour now and there are some major political headlines this morning as the impeachment inquiry into the President accelerates. First up, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he has now been subpoenaed. He's missed two deadlines to turn over documents related to the President's call with Ukraine. His third chance to hand them over is Friday.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: In the meantime resources tell us that the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker has quit. He was mentioned several times in the whistleblower's report and he allegedly told Ukrainian officials had a deal with President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

BLACKWELL: "The Washington Post" says that in 2017 President Trump told two Russian officials he was not concerned about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, because the U.S. did the same in other countries.

PAUL: And there's this, CNN has learned the President's phone call with Ukraine's President may not have been the only one the White House wanted to keep quiet. Our sources say details of the President's conversations with other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi Crown Prince were subject to quote "tighter than normal restrictions."

BLACKWELL: We're covering every angle of this story.

PAUL: I want to start with Washington, in Washington with our CNN's Sarah Westwood. Sarah, we know that Mike Pompeo, as we said, has until Friday to turn over these documents. Any indication from the White House as to what he will do?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi, and certainly the stakes have been upped by House Democrats for this administration in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Oversight Committee issuing this subpoena to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

And what they're looking for is documents related to that now infamous July 25th phone call President Trump had with Ukrainian President Zelensky. They're also looking for documents related to the President's decision about a week before that call to suspend military aid to Ukraine. They have a lot of questions about the timeline, the sequence of events leading up to and after that call.

And in addition to those documents, House Democrats want depositions from senior State Department officials, including former U.S. envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker. He resigned from the administration last night, but as you mentioned, he was brought up several times in that whistleblower complaint.

A key figure in this situation, he is alleged to have facilitated a meeting between Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, and a top aide to Ukrainian President Zelensky. Giuliani, of courses, is one of the loudest voices around President Trump pursuing dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

There's no evidence that Joe Biden or his son did anything wrong, but that push, that quest for opposition research from the Ukrainians, that is what has sparked this entire controversy.

Now, the House Democrats have twice requested these documents from the State Department going all the way back to September 9th. Democrats say the State Department has completely stonewalled their requests.

Now, Pompeo has until October 4th, Friday to comply with the subpoena or House Democrats say they will view the White House as obstructing their impeachment inquiry, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Let's now bring in former FBI special agent and CNN Legal & National Security Analyst Asha Rangappa. Asha, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So let's start here with these conversations we've learned with - between the President of the United States and President Putin of Russia, the President and the Saudi Crown Prince of MBS - Mohammed bin Salman.


There will undoubtedly be people who want to know what was discussed that warranted a tighter than normal control over these conversations. Are you comfortable with the declassification of more of the President's conversations with world leaders?

RANGAPPA: I think at this point it is entirely justified. We know of at least one instance where he was using his Presidential authority as leverage over another nation in order to get a personal benefit. And if that was happening in other contexts that I think it is definitely something of concern.

With Putin, specifically, I think that that is important, because remember that what Trump was doing with Ukraine, including trying to send his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to find evidence that it was Ukraine who interfered in our 2016 election, not Russia, was something that potentially benefited Russia.

So I think it's - we need to see whether there were any conversations about what Trump was doing with regard to Ukraine that might be related.

BLACKWELL: You know based on our conversations with national security experts this morning and since this whistleblower report was - or the complaint was declassified. These reports of the calls being placed onto specific servers, they've risen to the level of unusual. Do you agree with the whistleblower that this is abuse of this code word classified system in the protocols within the white House?

RANGAPPA: Yes. I think that it would not only be abuse, but it could potentially be illegal. Remember that code word protected servers were meant for things like covert actions, the most sensitive kind of information. And under our law you're not allowed to over classify something in order to put it in this kind of system. And then doubly so, if what you are trying to do is to conceal politically embarrassing information or possibly going back to the Mueller investigation and Trump's comments with regard to firing Comey and the interference in the election, if he was trying to actually conceal it from those investigators that could be potential obstruction.

BLACKWELL: The U.S. special envoy, according to sources, Kurt Volker resigned from his position yesterday. And reading here from the now declassified whistleblower's complaint it says the State Department officials including Ambassador Volker and Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, had spoken with Rudy Giuliani in an attempt to "contain the damage" to U.S. national security.

How troublesome from a national security perspective is Rudy Giuliani's behavior and his involvement, at least that we know of up to this point?

RANGAPPA: It would be incredibly concerning from a national security perspective, Victor. Because our different agencies try to coordinate based on a common base of knowledge you know. When conversations happen with foreign countries, that's going to affect how the State Department, how the Department of Defense, how NSA decides to collect information, for example. All these things are carefully coordinated.

When someone is having you know back-channel communications that then creates a firewall that where our agencies don't know what's going on, how to respond or what to make of what the other side is doing. So it can be bad. It can cause a lot of confusion on our end.

BLACKWELL: So just I need you to, I guess, temper some expectations for people who know that there is this congressional delegation led by Democrat from California John Garamendi in Kiev today.

They went there to check in on the U.S. investments in military, Eastern Europe. They may now expect them to come back with some treasure trove of information related to the call. Temper expectations about what the members of Congress could get out of this visit?

RANGAPPA: Yes. I don't think they are going to necessarily get information related to our unfolding political situation from the other side. I mean, I don't know exactly what the substance of those conversations will be. But I think that our eyes need to be on the congressional hearings, what they are getting through the subpoena process.

I think the subpoenas to the State Department are significant and I think the documentation - there will be in plenty of paper trails left within our agencies alone that will reveal much about what happened in this situation.

BLACKWELL: All right. Asha Rangappa, always good to have you.


RANGAPPA: Thank you. PAUL: Still ahead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explains why impeaching the President is the only option they have. Freshman Congresswoman Elaine Luria agrees she's been vocal this week about holding the President accountable. We're talking to her next.


PAUL: With all the news coming out of the White House over the past 24 years, the calls for impeachment are growing louder by the day. Last night, at a democratic conference in New Jersey House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reinforced why she believes impeachment is the right decision.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): So this is not a cause for any joy that we have to go down this path. It's a difficult decision to make, but we have that obligation, because the actions that were taken could undermine the Constitution--

Our founders could never have thought that anyone would be so abusive our system. They knew that people might try to take advantage of this and that in the White House, but never so abusive of the system. So as we go forward we want it to be a way that unifies America, not divides America.


PAUL: Well Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia is with us now. Congresswoman, thank you so much, we appreciate you being here.

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Thank you.

PAUL: Do you think it's possible to have this inquiry and be unified at the same time, not divide the country any further?


LURIA: Well, I'll tell you that I didn't come to Washington to impeach the President. But I also didn't spend 20 years in the Navy to allow this to happen, to allow our Constitution to be trampled on. And I made this decision to come forward this week without a political calculation. It could very well cost me my seat in Congress.

But, you know, I like my colleagues, we have to be able to look ourselves in the mirror and say we did the right thing at the end of this.

PAUL: So what push you into the line of we need to impeach this President. Was there any specific that happened?

LURIA: These allegations with the President and this conversation with the President of Ukraine, here we have the President of the United States having a conversation with a foreign leader, enlisting him to conduct an investigation to smear and malign his potential political opponent in order to bolster his own chances for re-election. And at the same time leveraging $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine, a country that itself had been invaded by Russia and Crimea in 2014, these were clear and concise details that made me feel that we had to act now.

PAUL: So we know that they're going to be one - the House is going to want to hear from Secretary Pompeo, most likely from Rudy Giuliani, very possibly from the U.S. envoy - special envoy Volker. What do you want to hear specifically from those people?

LURIA: I want to hear the facts. I want to hear the unvarnished facts. I don't want to see executive privilege invoked on this information that's due to the American people and I want these hearings to go forward in a way that reveals all of the information that surrounds these incidents and that's necessary for us in Congress to make a decision and for the American people to understand what happened.

PAUL: Now on September 25th there was a Quinnipiac poll that came out and 37 percent, it showed, of the people who were polled support impeachment; 57% do not, they oppose it. And you're a freshman from a Virginia's Second Congressional District, your district voted for President Trump in 2016. What are you hearing from your constituents about this?

LURIA: Well, in the first about two and a half days since we've made this statement, we had roughly 150 calls to our four offices across the district and in DC that discussed the issue of impeachment and roughly two-thirds - more than two-thirds of those were in favor of the decision that I had made to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.

PAUL: OK. So are you concerned at all that the impeachment inquiry will overshadow some of the other things that people want to focus on - the immigration, the health care?

LURIA: It's certainly a very critical issue, and we need to give it the attention it's due. The Intelligence Committee with Chairman Adam Schiff remains in session this week, while I'm back in the district doing all those things that I was sent here to do.

We're looking at cutting prescription drug costs, we've passed universal background checks, we've voted to increase the minimum wage. I'm working very closely on environmental issues related to the Chesapeake Bay and that work goes on, and that work goes on with my team. And this is a very key critical moment in our history and it needs to be handled carefully. But we also have the work of the Congress to do for the American people at the same time.

PAUL: All right. Congresswoman Elaine Luria, we appreciate it so much. Thanks for being here.

LURIA: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, it was not just the President of Ukraine, we've learned that the White House limited access to the President's calls with other world leaders too. What made these conversations so sensitive? That's coming up.



BLACKWELL: Well, CNN has learned that conversations with world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were given tighter than normal restrictions.

PAUL: CNN White House Correspondent, Pamela Brown reports some of those transcripts were even circulated to officials who typically have access to that kind of information.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have learned the White House efforts to limit access to President Trump's conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This is according to several people familiar with the matter.

Now, those calls, both those leaders who maintain controversial relationships with Trump were among the Presidential conversations that aides took remarkable steps to keep from becoming public.

In the case of Trump's call with Prince Mohammed, officials who ordinarily would have been given access to a rough transcript of the conversation never saw one, according to one of the sources. Instead a transcript was never circulated at all a source says was highly unusual particularly after a high profile conversation.

The call which the person said contained no especially sensitive national security secrets came as the White House was confronting the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi which U.S. intelligence assessment said came at the hands of the Saudi government.

Now with Putin, access to the transcript of at least one of Trump's conversations was also tightly restricted according to a former Trump administration official. It's not clear if aides took the additional step of placing the Saudi Arabia and Russia phone calls in that same highly secured codeword operated system that held that now infamous phone call with Ukraine's President and which helped spark the whistleblower complaint made public this week.

Though officials did confirm calls aside from the Ukraine conversation were placed there and those calls didn't also reach the threshold similar to the Ukraine conversation.

But these attempts to conceal information about Trump's discussions with Prince Mohammed and Putin further illustrates the extraordinary efforts taken by Trump's aides to strictly limit the number of people with access to his conversations with foreign leaders.

I'm told this practice really went into place more than a year ago after there were conversations leaked between the leaders, President Trump and Mexico as well as Australia. We should note the White House did not comment about the limiting of access to calls with the Russian and Saudi leaders.


Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Also this morning new details about an already highly controversial meeting at the White House, remember "The Washington Post" says President Trump told two Russian officials that he was not concerned about Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Those comments came during the President's infamous 2017 Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"The Post" says President Trump told the two officials he wasn't concerned because the U.S. "Did the same in other countries", a lot to break down here. Want to talk about this with Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief of the "Chicago Sun-Times" and CNN National Security Analyst Steve Hall, retired CIA chief of Russia operations. Good morning to both of you. We appreciate it.

Steve let me ask you about that first. The reasoning that the President does not apparently care about Russian interference, in your experience in the CIA how does how do you feel about that?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You know, it's difficult to imagine a worst message to send to the Russians when you've got sort of the backslapping session that we saw in the now-infamous Oval Office meeting where you've got the President joking around with Sergey Lavrov, one of Putin's close advisers as well as a former Ambassador Kislyak.

And what's his message, well, among many messages, one of them is hey don't worry about that attack on our democracy that you guys authored. It's OK because we do the same type of thing. First of all it's not true.

But secondly, it sends the message to Russia, look, you got away with it and if you want to continue to do it in the future, no biggie, do - go ahead and do whatever you like. And that's the Russians - that's how the Russians read that, and the Russians will no doubt remember that as we go forward into the 2020 election. So not a good message from the President of United States to Russia.

PAUL: Speaking of the 2020 election, Lynn, a senior political analyst David Gergen says Democrats need to slow down in terms of this impeachment inquiry. They need to be slow going. They need to be very deliberate here. But we're hearing that they also want to get through this by possibly Thanksgiving. That's one of the dates been out there that they want to have a vote on this impeachment inquiry. How realistic is that?

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": I don't see how you could get the even the basic work done with even a first list of witnesses. Congress is out for two weeks now, so that makes this Mid-October.

Things are going very fast. I don't see how - the only way I suppose, you could do it is, if this inquiry is limited very tightly to just the four corners of that call and what happened on that and that follow any leads to other calls. Notice how in the last two days we've also expanded questions to the Russian meeting that we talked about and possibly Saudi.

So the Ukraine case, the plus of just limiting to that, if they take Gergen's advice to go slow, would mean that you have one story to tell simply that's more understandable than if the investigation gets very broad and more complicated.

PAUL: Steve, we heard Pamela Brown there talking about the White House - these reports that they've restricted access not just in this Ukraine conversation, with officials that would normally and typically have access to that conversation, but also conversations with President Putin and with the Saudi Crown Prince. How unusual is that? And does that send an alert up to you regarding what's going on there?

HALL: Yes, it is unusual to use those more classified systems for what is normally a routine type of activity when you're having a meeting or a conversation over the phone or otherwise with the foreign leader. But now when you ask yourself, OK, why are they doing that? It's now becoming more and more clear, it's because of the horrific things that are going on in some of those phone calls.

So, again, what we were just discussing when you've got the President talking to foreign leaders about don't worry - Russia about what you did with our elections. And now you've got the President talking to the newly elected President of Ukraine saying, yes, there's one favor I need from you before I give you this aid that you need so badly in an existential struggle against Russia.

I can tell you having served in that area of the world for a long time, there's only one way the Ukrainians understand that, and that is, well, we better do what the President is asking. So when the President is engaging in those kind of unprecedented and really horrific phone calls and conversations with foreign leaders, it's no wonder that they want to try to keep it this secret and put it into a much more classified system than is normal.

PAUL: Steve help us understand what position that puts Intel officials - what position it puts them in to not have that information and then to go about and do their job?

HALL: Well, we already know from one important intelligence official who remains unnamed as they should, the whistleblower. That concerned this person so much in terms of what they were seeing out of the Oval Office that they had to activate those very rarely used whistleblower channels.

[08:30:00] But the whole thing is extremely difficult, not just for the

intelligence community, but I would say for the policymaking community as well. When you're not sure exactly what the President is saying to these leaders when he's using people instead of seasoned diplomats like Kurt Volker who was recently resigned and the former Ambassador Masha Yovanovitch to Ukraine.

When you're not using those kind seasoned professionals and instead guys like Rudy Guiliani, you know it's very confusing and not only to the country that we're trying to deal with, Ukraine, but also to our own system of intelligence and policymakers at places like the State Department. So it's pretty chaotic in a location where you don't have a whole lot of room to make a mistake.

PAUL: Lynn, the White House has said the reason that they moved some of those conversations and transcripts from one server to one that is more secretive was because there was so much leaking going on in the in the administration.

We know that President Trump met with his White House lawyers yesterday and personal counsel to talk to - talk about the Democrats and about this impeachment inquiry and his personal attorney Jay Sekulow said there is no war room being set up right now.

What is happening behind the White House closed doors? Do we know the strategy the President is going to use to try to thwart this?

SWEET: Where we got a clue about nine minutes ago because President Trump is up and his first tweet of the day is out, and he's already on a rampage against Democrats. He has a new slogan I saw in this new tweet that he's calling - he's going after Schiff, in what he calls AOC+ 3.

This is a White House where the communication and messaging shots are called by the President. I covered the Clinton White House, dealt extensively with the war room that was set up at the time, how they released documents, how they tried to get their spin or message out.

And how, most important, what's interesting what the Clinton White House did was wall off the impeachment proceedings and the communications team that dealt just with that from everything else in the White House in order to try and have the appearance that this impeachment proceeding is not paralyzing the Clinton administration. Clearly, this is an approach that has been rejected so far by the Trump White House.

PAUL: Steve you mentioned U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, just a couple of minutes ago, who has resigned again. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko calls his resignation disturbing. And he says, "One could hardly overestimate his contribution to strengthening of our strategic partnership with the U.S."

We know that Volker is going to be questioned next week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Do you believe that he'll incriminate Giuliani? And is this a big loss? HALL: This is a really complicated story I think for a lot of viewers. It happens in a very you know far-flung part of the world, Ukraine, which is in an existential struggle with Russia, who of course wants to essentially reabsorb the entirety of Ukraine. They already cut off a chunk of the country when they took Ukraine.

So the United States is really the primary force that allows Ukraine to remain as a country in Europe. We are the ones who are supporting them against Russia or at least that's what we should be doing and that's what we have been doing for a number of years.

Guys like Volker and other professionals like the former Ambassador Yovanovitch which was fired by the President are I think a positive influence in terms of their expertise and understanding of how complicated that region is.

But, clearly, with Giuliani's involvement and you know the President saying what he did to the newly elected and very inexperienced President of Ukraine, I think it reached - it seems to me and hopefully we'll hear from him to discuss further what his thinking process was.

But it seems to me that he just said look this is kind of a mess and I don't know that I want to be part of it. So we'll find out whether there's any more than that of what he's willing to say about the work that he was doing either with Giuliani or perhaps around or despite Giuliani. We need to hear more from him about that. It'll be very interesting to see what he says.

PAUL: And House certainly wants to hear from Giuliani I'm sure as well. Lynn Sweet, Steve Hall we so appreciate the two of you sharing your perspectives with us. Thank you.

SWEET: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A young African-American girl, she was at the playground, coming down the slide when she says three white classmates pinned her down and cut her hair. The full story and how she is trying to heal from this alleged racist attack, next.



BLACKWELL: A 12-year-old African-American girl says that her classmate called her hair ugly and nappy as they pinned her down and cut several of her dreadlocks.

PAUL: CNN's Rene Marsh spoke to Amari Allen and her family about what happened.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 12-year-old, sixth grader Amari Allen is healing after she says three white male classmates at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield Virginia targeted and attacked her because of her hair.

AMARI ALLEN, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SIXTH GRADER: --go down on the slides when three boys came up to me, like surrounded me, and they put me on the ground. One of them put my hand - my hands on my back. One of them put their hands over my mouth and one cut my hair.

MARSH (voice over): The alleged attack on school grounds was both physical and verbal.

ALLEN: They were saying like my hair was ugly, it was nappy. They were saying that I don't deserve to live. I shouldn't have been born.

CYNTHIA ALLEN, AMARI ALLEN'S GRANDMOTHER: The back of it was in the middle of her back and they cut all of these--

MARSH (voice over): Her grandmother says she was targeted for being different.

CYNTHIA ALLEN: They attacked her as whom God created her to be, as a young lady of color.

MARSH (voice over): Amari says it was the school bell that saved her when it rang--

ALLEN: They went off laughing, went back to the line and I just got myself up and went back to line.

CYNTHIA ALLEN: It started the first day of school when they start taking her lunch and eating her lunch in front of her and telling her these nasty words - you're not fit to live - yes, you're not fit to live, you're ugly, your hair is nappy. You don't belong here--

MARSH (voice over): The school told CNN in a statement, "We take seriously the emotional and physical well-being of all of our students and have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of bullying or abuse." The student body there is 52 percent white and 11 percent African- American.


Immanuel Christian made news earlier this year because Second Lady Karen Pence teaches art part-time there. Despite a school policy that bans gay students' parents, Pence's office defended her decision to work there. The Allen family filed a police report and the Fairfax County Police Department tells CNN they are now investigating.

MARSH: You realize that you are beautiful, right?


MARSH: And you realize that your hair is beautiful too, right?

ALLEN: Right.

MARSH (voice over): In the meantime, Amari's family says they are reminding her daily that she is enough, trying to reverse the negative impact of the painful words from her classmates.

CYNTHIA ALLEN: We used to say sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt, words will kill. There's a lot of people today that have committed suicide over one word. So words have deep scarring.

MARSH: Well, Amari missed a few days of school as a result of this incident, but she plans to return, and the school told CNN, those involved in the incident will be out of school, while police continue their investigation.

Now the family says that they do forgive these students. But they want to see them receive some sort of punishment and counseling, so that they never do this to anyone else again.

Rene Marsh, CNN Washington.


PAUL: Rene, thank you. The impeachment inquiry into President Trump is drawing some parallels for a lot of people to both the Nixon and the Clinton impeachment cases.

BLACKWELL: What kind of precedent to those cases provide today, we take a look back presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.


BLACKWELL: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was subpoenaed by three House Committees over his failure to turn over documents relating to Ukraine. And he already missed two deadlines and now he has until Friday to comply the documents will be used as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

Here with me to discuss CNN, Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley. Douglas welcome back.


BLACKWELL: So let's reach back to the Nixon impeachment era. That informs probably best our expectation for any type of privilege the White House will claim and if it gets that far the Supreme Court will allow that privilege.


BRINKLEY: Well, yes, I mean, it's all about looking back at the Nixon years now because in 1972 Nixon oversaw the break-in of the Democratic National Committee. Basically he wanted dirt on his Democratic opponent George McGovern and we went to extraordinary lengths to get it.

You see a repeat of this. Donald Trump worried about Joe Biden, the one Democrat that people feel well could surely defeat him. And here he is doing something you licit and perhaps unconstitutional, trying to curry favor with you Ukraine to get a secret deal, secret a payload of dirt on Biden. So they really echo each other a lot.

And Nixon got undone with the tapes when we found out through Alexander Butterfield that there was a taping system in the White House end of Nixon. Donald Trump, we have a transcript now. He's saying in his own words you can hear the quid pro quo or at least read the transcript of it.

And so but that may be enough to move forward very quickly with impeachment the fact that we have what Trump had said to the Ukrainian leader.

BLACKWELL: Yes. This isn't a what did the President know and when did he know it. We know what the President knew. We know what he said. It's now how many people around the President were aware and what did they do, if anything, to cover it up.

Let's talk about the response from the White House. CNN is reporting that senior officials inside the White House are souring on the idea that was floated of bringing Corey Lewandowski in to run the White House's response. Corey Lewandowski, a political adviser to the President, ran his campaign.

Contrast what we're seeing in in a response and a potential war room footing from other administrations - from Clinton from Nixon and what this administration is doing as what we're seeing ramped up from the Democrats.

BRINKLEY: It's a little different is you know during the Nixon years you had a Select Committee and was brought live on television and people showed up and talked they and it ended up really undoing Nixon, because you got to see Republicans challenging the sitting president who was of their party.

Meaning, people like Howard Baker and Sam Ervin, both become household names, Barry Goldwater stood up and told Nixon "I've had enough of your lies." And the Select Committees tend to go a little slower. We are now in fast speed.

Nancy Pelosi would like to see this done before Christmas, does not want impeachment proceedings bleeding into the caucus and primaries of early 2020. And so we are on a very fast going ship right now.

Hence, everybody's set focusing on the Ukraine piece. There are other things that Donald Trump might be able to be impeached on. But this Ukraine situation is really something that could be brought home quite expeditiously by the Democrats, at least in the next two months.

BLACKWELL: So let's back up a bit from kind of the individual pieces of what's happened over the last several days. The President has now joined a very small club where there is now an impeachment inquiry if that goes to articles that are sent over to the Senate he'll join an even smaller club.

Give us the gravity of what is happening and the significance of what is happening in the scope of history. BRINKLEY: No President wants to have the big eye tattooed on them impeachment. It's - it makes you a part of the losers club of history. You - we had Andrew Johnson in 1868, he was impeached and he got to stay in. It didn't go through. I mean, he got to finish his term.

But he was so hurt by being impeached, he went back to Tennessee and ran for Senate and won trying to clear his name. We saw Bill Clinton to go - get impeached and he talked about that it's a badge of honor, because I was fighting off a right-wing conspiracy.

But in the end when we - when some day in the obituary of Bill Clinton the word impeachment will be in the first paragraph. Nixon had to resign in disgrace and he resigned because he didn't want that "I" word on his historical biography.

So, hence, this is serious stuff Ford Trump. His presidency may survive. I mean, the Senate - Congress might vote to impeach him, Senate not. He still stays in as President. But forever when we say Donald J. Trump, people saying he was one of those disgraced, impeached Presidents.


BLACKWELL: All right, Douglas Brinkley, always good to have you.

BRINKLEY: Thank you.

PAUL: Did you know that there is snow in the forecast? My kid you not, some wild weather coming up, we'll show you where.


BLACKWELL: It's the first official - official weekend to fall, didn't feel like that way most places.

PAUL: That - is it?

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's either - you know, the temperatures feel like they're in the middle of summer or the dead of winter depends on where you are.

PAUL: CNN Meteorologist, CNN Allison Chinchar is in the CNN weather center, talking about snow already.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And, I guess, you really just kind of have to think what would you rather have, feeling like mid- July or mid-January? Because those are pretty much - those are pretty much your only two options as we go into this weekend.

Take a look at this out in the Pacific Northwest, you have seven states under some type of winter weather alerts. And we're not just talking a little bit of snow. We're talking a substantial amount of snow, especially for some of these states like Montana, Idaho, even portions of Washington State.

This is a look at the forecast as we go through the rest of the day. This system doesn't want to move very fast. And that's allowing it to dump a tremendous amount of snow in such a short period of time.

Look at this. The valleys, the low lying areas, you're talking six to 12 inches. Then once you start getting up in elevation into these mountainous regions, now you're talking two, three, if not even four feet of snow. Yes, feet of snow.

These low pressure systems are what's bringing that moisture in. But this high pressure up here is also equally as important, because that wind always pushes from a high pressure towards the low pressure, and in doing so, it's pushing all of that cold air down into those locations. That's why it's not rain, but rather in the form of snow that we're getting this.


But on the other side of that jet stream, quite the opposite. In fact, take a look at this. All these dots represent potential record highs over the next several days. In fact, when we go out seven days, over 170 - yes, you heard that correctly. 170, possible record highs. Some of these cities even having multiple days of it, places like Atlanta, Dallas, guys even St. Louis could end up breaking record high temperatures while the other half of the country is digging out from snow.

PAUL: And the skiers are happy.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the skiers ahead.

PAUL: The skiers are happy.

BLACKWELL: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

Chinchar: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: Hey we've got more news straight ahead for you.

PAUL: Yes, Smerconish is next. Though we'll see you back here in an hour.