Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
House Dems Subpoena Giuliani For Ukraine Documents; Giuliani Subpoenaed For Docs In Impeachment Inquiry; Trump: "Trying To Find Out" Whistleblower's Identity; Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) Is Interviewed About Rudy Giuliani's Full Cooperation; Sources: Advisers Warn Trump It's Likely He'll Be Impeached; Some Annoyed He Won't Give Up 2016 Conspiracy Theory. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired September 30, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: -- law for creating confusion. The NCAA says it's looking into next steps. What will those be? We do not know. But the new rules will take effect in 2023 if they survive the expected legal challenge. Brianna Keilar, thank you so much for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts now.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, Rudy Giuliani slapped with a subpoena order to hand over documents central to the impeachment investigation. But will the President's personal attorney actually cooperate? Plus, sounding the alarm Trump's advisors now warning the President it is likely he will be impeached this as frustration grows over Trump's obsession with a conspiracy theory. And Democrats under pressure tonight, is the impeachment push putting their jobs in jeopardy? Let's go out front.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in tonight for Erin Burnett. An OUTFRONT breaking news, Rudy Giuliani has been subpoenaed. The House Democrats just announcing they have subpoenaed the President's Personal attorney for those documents related to Ukraine. Giuliani, of course, is at the center of the impeachment investigation mentioned 31 times in that whistleblower complaint described as "a central figure" in efforts to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election.
There are also growing questions tonight about another member of the President's inner circle. CNN is now learning that the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was on that July 25th phone call when the President asked Ukraine's President to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. This comes as President Trump says he's trying to uncover the identity of the whistleblower.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you now know who the whistleblower is, sir?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we're trying to find out about a whistleblower, when you have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, here's how an attorney for the whistleblower is responding tonight tweeting, "The Intel Community Whistleblower is entitled to anonymity. Law and policy support this and the individual is not going to be retaliated against. Doing so is a violation of federal law."
And let's not forget the President's own Acting Director of National Intelligence just said such threats are out of line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH MAGUIRE, ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The Inspector General is properly protecting the complainant's identity and will not permit the complainant to be subject to any retaliation or adverse consequences for communicating the complaint to the Inspector General.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: But this is a president that is lashing out as the impeachment pressure mounts throwing almost every defense he can against the wall to see what sticks, tweeting more than a dozen times over just the last 24 hours, suggesting the House Intelligence Chairman, Adam Schiff, be investigated and potentially arrested for treason and warning of a civil war like fracture if he is impeached.
Let's go to Manu Raju. He joins me live on Capitol Hill tonight. So Manu, Let's begin with this. What more are you learning about the subpoena from Democrats to Giuliani?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Explaining impeachment investigation that Democrats are pushing here on Capitol Hill, demanding these documents by October 15th. Everything that occurred that Giuliani may have had possession over from the beginning of the Trump administration until now. And just moments ago, Rudy Giuliani responded to the subpoena tweeting that he will give it "appropriate consideration" but saying this raises significant issues citing even attorney-client privilege.
So we'll see if he ultimately complies. Democrats are warning if they do not get compliance with this subpoena, it will just add evidence to their push that the Trump administration, that the White House, the President himself is seeking to obstruct Congress on this in other fronts. Now, this comes in the aftermath of several efforts by this newly form investigative impeachment effort to try to get more documents, including the subpoenas that came out late last week to the State Department for documents related to this Ukraine matter as well as the scheduled deposition with five State Department officials including the President's former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who's scheduled to come on Thursday.
Also someone who allegedly was involved with this effort with Rudy Giuliani, so Giuliani is still central to this push, but also a push on Capitol Hill to get that whistleblower to come before Congress. And today, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, is raising serious concerns about the President's efforts telling me today that the President's attacks against this whistleblower could have a chilling effect and said that he's concerned about the whistleblower's safety, so we'll see where this goes from here.
But Democrats believe that they want to push and get this investigation done in just a matter of weeks here, Poppy.
HARLOW: Yes. There's a reason there's a whistleblower statute and the reason that whistleblowers are protected now in this country. Manu, thank you very much for that reporting. Let's talk about it with Democratic Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana. He, of course, is a member of the Intelligence Committee.
Good morning, sir. And thank you for being with me. It is your committee that is behind the subpoena for those documents from Rudy Giuliani. The President has as you know cited executive privilege over and over again to shield documents from making their way to Congress.
Do you expect something to be different this time? Do you expect Rudy Giuliani to fully cooperate and hand over all of those documents?
REP. ANDRE CARSON (D-IN): Well, as a former prosecutor and a lawyer, I would expect for Mr. Giuliani to understand this process. I would hope that he would act in a cooperative manner. If he is someone who is truly concerned about the preservation of our democracy and upholding our constitutional rights as Members of Congress, he should be willing to cooperate.
HARLOW: On Friday, he said about your Committee that it is not legitimate and it is a "sad joke" and then he said this just yesterday on ABC this week when he was directly asked will he cooperate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: Will you cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee?
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I wouldn't cooperate with Adam Schiff. I think Adam should be removed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's your answer. You're not going to cooperate.
GIULIANI: I didn't say that. I said I will consider it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: He did say that, but given that Giuliani might tell you at this point, Congressman, that the sky is not blue, how do you measure the value of what he says to you guys and what he turns over to your Committee?
CARSON: Well, Giuliani has a reputation of being a smart man or he had a reputation of being a smart man. It seems more clear that Mr. Giuliani is impressionable. He's been hanging around Donald Trump, so he's flip flopping just like the President.
Again, my hope is that Mr. Giuliani will cooperate with the Committee and understand that Chairman Schiff is an accomplished leader, a very thoughtful leader, a fellow prosecutor might I add. And so I think that this is Mr. Giuliani's time to preserve what's left of his reputation and work in a cooperative manner with those of us on the Intel Committee.
HARLOW: It's interesting, you sound very hopeful, A, that Giuliani will cooperate and B, that he will be forthcoming with you. I wonder seeing how the Corey Lewandowski testimony went just a few weeks ago in public, the circus that was, frankly, if it would be more prudent for Democrats to question Rudy Giuliani in private.
CARSON: It doesn't matter at this point. I think that the whole Trump administration has become a circus. So if you give them more cameras, you're going to get more theatrics. You're going to get more pageantry. We need to get to the facts.
The Intel Committee has known to be disciplined, especially under the leadership of Chairman Schiff and previous chairs known to be very disciplined. Matter of fact, we have a very talented staff of attorneys and former members of the Intelligence Community. And so those of us who serve as representatives, we take our jobs very seriously. We take our oath very seriously.
And so what we want to do is make sure that the identity of the whistleblower is protected and we want to get to the bottom of this. The call is Exhibit A, the complaint is Exhibit B, if you will, and we need a fuller picture of what happened and what is happening. And so those who are concerned Republican, Democrats, urge your representative to do the right thing and put pressure on the Trump administration to cooperate.
HARLOW: So here is one of the few remaining Democrats in the House who is not there yet on impeachment, Democratic Congressman Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey. He's one of the 12 left who doesn't support impeachment at the time. He explained why over the weekend, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JEFF VAN DREW (D-NJ): The odds are very high, that it's not going to bear any fruit. The odds are very high that this president will continue to be the president. The people of the United States of America are going to have an election now in a year they can go ahead in the ballot box and impeach if they desire to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Congressman Carson, do you see any merit to that argument? CARSON: Well, I can't speak to his district, the culture of his
district, his own personal philosophical views. I think that he's probably sensitive to one point that I can appreciate, and that is we still have work to do. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. The Trump administration has yet to deal with a comprehensive infrastructure bill that deals with the over 10,000 roads and bridges that have to be repaid and reconstructed.
He has yet to address our educational walls in a very serious manner. He's yet to address our National Security concerns in a serious manner that doesn't demonize Muslims and doesn't demonize immigrants and Latinos. And so there's much more work to do, but the work at hand calls for us on the House Intelligence Committee to protect the whistleblower and get to the bottom of this very serious allegation against the President.
HARLOW: So let's end on the whistleblower because your colleague, the Chair of your Committee, Adam Schiff said he is hopeful the whistleblower will testify before you pretty soon. The President said today he's trying to figure out who the whistleblower is. The whistleblower's attorney has responded saying that those attacks and what has been said are putting their client in danger. What's your read?
CARSON: Well, we're going to do whatever we can to make sure that the identity of the whistleblower is protected. We're working with DNI Director, Maguire, to make sure the attorneys get the proper clearances and so that justice is served.
I would hope that this president does not act in a way that is reminiscent of a mob figure. And if he sees himself as such, he will be dealt with as such.
HARLOW: What does that mean?
CARSON: It means that if he wants to be a gangster, then we're going to have to uphold the law and treat him like a gangster. He's already shown that he's a tyrant.
HARLOW: Well, what does that mean you would actually do?
CARSON: He's already shown - we're doing what we're doing, investigating, issuing more subpoenas, making sure that he doesn't act like a gangster and use the seat of the presidency to continue to intimidate foreign leaders, to blackmail foreign leaders as it relates to the aid that they get from the U.S. To continually pollute all of the agencies and create this very toxic work environment where people are afraid to come forth with whistleblowing complaints, and members of the cabinet administration as well are afraid to even challenge the President. That's a mob mentality and those are certainly traits of a tyrant.
HARLOW: Congressman Andre Carson, we appreciate you coming on tonight. Thank you so much. CARSON: What a pleasure, thank you.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, CNN has learned that the President's advisers are warning him he is likely to be impeached, is the president listening though? Also reports Attorney General Bill Barr held private meetings overseas in order to discredit America's own intelligence agencies when it comes to Russian interference. The reporter who broke that story tonight is out front. And a brand new poll shows more Americans in favor of impeachment and there is a sharp rise among one group of voters, one that you might not expect next.
HARLOW: Breaking news White House aides are warning the President he faces a real likelihood of being impeached. The President's allies are growing concerned that he doesn't understand the gravity of this investigation and how quickly it is moving multiple sources close to the White House tell CNN tonight that the President is resisting help, convinced he doesn't need a formal team to handle impeachment.
Kaitlan Collins joins us out front. So what is the White House strategy as this thing ramps up?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, so far you've seen the President just counterattack on Twitter and send these Republican lawmakers on TV to defend him, but there are people inside the White House who are questioning just how long that strategy is going to work. If you watched the President's allies who were on television yesterday, a lot of people didn't feel like they did anything to tamp down the criticism of the President's call with the Ukrainian president.
But behind the scenes, the president has resisted these calls to form an impeachment response team to help him mount this aggressive defense. He's also hearing from people that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani isn't doing him any favors with his slew of appearances either. But the President has also said he doesn't want to hire any additional attorneys right now because essentially he believes if he does either of those things form that impeachment response team or hire more lawyers he says it's going to make him look weak in this impeachment fight with Democrats.
Now, people inside the White House are just wondering what their exact strategy is going to be. They're looking at the calendar, noting that it's been six days since the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched this inquiry and essentially they feel like they've squandered their opportunity so far to shape the public opinion.
Now, whether or not that changes is a question going forward, but right now as we've seen today, the President has been more focused on questioning the identity of this whistleblower than he does seem to be on a defense strategy for impeachment.
HARLOW: There you go. Kaitlan Collins, thank you very much for that reporting.
David Gergen is with us. He advised four U.S. presidents including President Nixon, I should note, Vivian Salama, White House Reporter for The Wall Street Journal and Paul Rosenzweig, former Senior Counsel to Ken Starr. Of course, he was one of many former prosecutors who wrote that letter back in May saying that they believe the President's actions described in the Mueller report amounted to obstruction of justice. Good evening.
And David, let me just begin with you before we get to this White House strategy or non strategy, the breaking news tonight that the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was on that July 25th phone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine, what does that tell you?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's been a head spinning day, hasn't it? That tells us that ...
HARLOW: It's only Monday, David. It's only Monday.
GERGEN: ... yes, only Monday. That tells us that the White House still isn't playing it straight. It had ample opportunities to make it clear that Pompeo was on the call. It was a routine call and all of the rest way back when. But now when it comes out days later, it looks extremely suspicious they were trying to hide it and that comes on top of numerous other news, breaking news stories today which only make suspicions and the sense of corruption get worse.
I don't care what communication strategy you adopt, you can say anything you want. But when the facts spin out of your control, your communication strategy doesn't work anymore.
HARLOW: Well, let's look at the communication strategy that appears to exist at least right now, Vivian from the President's allies on the various Sunday shows. I mean thank goodness for good journalists and good journalism fact-checking him in real time, but here's just a peek at what we saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MILLER, TRUMP'S SENIOR ADVISER: I know the difference between a whistleblower and a deep state operative. This is a deep state operative, pure and simple.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): He had no first-hand knowledge. He heard something from someone who may have heard something from someone.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: No, no his sources were first-hand sources.
JORDAN: But he has no first-hand knowledge and second he has a political bias.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This seems to me like a political setup. It's all hearsay. You can't get a parking ticket conviction based on hearsay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I mean, Vivian, Jake had to read to him from the IG letter to the Acting DNI pointing out the point about political bias that Jim Jordan was making this was not based in fact, given the Acting DNI and the IG's assessment. Is this the strategy?
VIVIAN SALAMA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: So far it looks that way, Poppy. And this is the interesting thing is that in the first few days of this, when the whistleblower complaint came out and when the White House released its transcript, when the House announces impeachment inquiry, there was a lot of talk about the potential of maybe the formation of a war room at the White House and some sort of active team to combat any reporting that might emerge about this.
But in the days that followed, we learned that that's actually not really happened. We saw a lot of the President's allies as you just showed really going out there and hammering a couple of points namely the fact that they say the whistleblower complaint was based off of secondhand knowledge and that there was no explicit quid pro quo in the transcript to allude to any kind of misconduct by the President.
But when I speak to White House officials and especially a lot of the lawyers at the White House, some of them who have left, it's interesting to hear and I'm talking about from Republicans now that they really do see a problem here developing. It's not about a quid pro quo, a lot of them tell me. A lot of them agree with the White House that maybe there isn't an explicit quid pro quo, but there is a very, very blatant abuse of executive privilege and power here and that's what a lot of his allies see as the potential downfall here.
HARLOW: And Paul you've rightly pointed out how the Supreme Court actually defines a quid pro quo, it's not just an explicit statement. But given your experience with Ken Starr's team with the Clinton impeachment, is this a prudent strategy of the Trump White House to not form a team, a war room around this because you're going to look weak?
PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL, KEN STARR'S WHITEWATER INVESTIGATION: It's certainly a different strategy. I mean to be fair to President Trump, he's broken a lot of rules and gotten away with it in a lot of ways so far. But if I were counseling him I would say that the classic answer to this type of problem is tell the truth, tell it as quickly as you can and tell all of it as quickly as you can.
And his counterpunch strategy is the exact opposite that he is, I think, as Mr. Gergen said digging himself a hole.
HARLOW: So David, the President when asked if he knows the identity of the whistleblower, listen to his reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you now know who the
whistleblower is, sir?
TRUMP: Well, we're trying to find out about a whistleblower, when you have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I should note, he's already, David, attacked the whistleblower calling them a partisan, et cetera, without knowing the identity. I mean that aside, the fact that he made that statement and said, "I deserve to meet my accuser." Should that more than just raise eyebrows for people coming from the President of the United States?
GERGEN: We're so far down this path of so many things that are just beyond belief. Look, in saying we're looking for the identity of the whistleblower, the President is completely disregarding what does the law is intended to do. The whistleblower law is intended to provide protection against these kind of assaults, against these kind of investigations. Otherwise you're going to put a chill and you're never going to have any more whistleblowers trying to help keep the government straight and keep malfeasance out of the government.
These whistle - it's really, really important and we've now reached the stage of not only is the President chasing after the whistleblower, but he's essentially said, this guy has committed treason and he's opening a door and giving license to people who carry guns and a gun-infested culture who are going to feel that they're perfectly justified in taking out this traitor. And I just think the whole thing is bizarre and it reflects badly on the President.
He definitely need somebody in there. He doesn't have to have a communication team. He needs a grown-up in there who will listen to him.
HARLOW: Yes, who he'll listen to, yes.
GERGEN: Who he'll listen to, I'm sorry.
HARLOW: There you go.
GERGEN: He'll listen to, yes, I'm sorry.
HARLOW: Now, I think I hear you, David. So Paul let me end on this, the President's staunchest defenders are latching on to one sentence in the IG's letter in August back to the acting DNI and let me just read this to you because Jim Jordan brought it up yesterday with a bunch of folks, "Although the IGIC's preliminary review identified some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favor of a rival political candidate, such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern 'appears credible.'"
Grasping at straws or is there more there? ROSENZWEIG: Grasping at straws. I mean, first off, it could easily
be that he favored John McCain who was a political rival of the President, so it's not even clear that it's a Democratic political rival. But more to the point, the reason that you challenge a person's bias is to assess their credibility.
This whistleblower's credibility has been proven completely true, given that he predicted for us essentially the entire content of the call with President Zelensky as well as the fact that the memorandum of conversation had been moved to a codeword server.
So the allegations of bias are in effect immaterial at this point, given how much of corroboration there has been.
HARLOW: Thank you all very much.
GERGEN: Poppy, can I just add one thing very quickly?
HARLOW: Sure, quickly.
GERGEN: We didn't even have time to get to what I think was one of the bombshell stories of the day and that is that the Attorney General of the United States have been globe-trotting looking for dirt ...
HARLOW: Yes, that's next.
GERGEN: ... on the 2016 election.
GERGEN: And that the President of the United States made a phone call to the Australian Prime Minister to seek help for the Attorney General of the United States.
HARLOW: You make a great point. It's critically important. We have The Washington Post reporter who broke part of that reporting on next as well as a former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. We'll talk about it. I promise. David Gergen, thank you so much. Vivian and Paul, nice to have you.
OUTFRONT next, Attorney General Bill Barr, there you have it, reportedly asking foreign countries to back the President's conspiracy theory about the Russia investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: How come it started? It was all nonsense. It was a hoax. It was a total hoax.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: Plus, a former Republican Senator tells Republicans, it is
time to save your souls.
HARLOW: Breaking news tonight, "The Washington Post" is reporting that Attorney General Bill Barr is holding private overseas meetings asking foreign intelligence officials to help the Russia investigation into the probe -- the probe into the origins of the Russia investigation. "The Post" reports that Barr met with British intelligence officials and traveled to Italy last week for similar meetings.
This comes as CNN learned President Trump himself urged Australia's prime minister in a recent phone call to help the attorney general with that investigation.
OUTFRONT now, one of the reporters who broke that story, "Washington Post" intelligence and national security reporter, Shane Harris.
Good evening, Shane.
Important reporting. What more can you tell me about the meetings Barr had overseas as recently as last week in Italy?
SHANE HARRIS, INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: That's right. He was meeting with Italian intelligence officials last week in Italy. He's also met with British officials. And the essence of this is that he is ostensibly introducing them to Durham, the prosecutor who is investigating the origins of the probe.
But really the way this is being perceived is I think Bill Barr trying to get foreign officials to sort of buy in to theory that the president has about the corrupt origins of the Russia probe. That is kind of where this investigation is heading. And it's quite unusual, according to officials we talked to for the attorney general to personally be involved in an investigation where there's already a very seasoned and respected prosecutor heading it up.
HARLOW: So, let me ask you this because tonight, the Department of Justice officials there tell CNN that it is appropriate for the attorney general and even the president to seek help from foreign countries in an investigation looking at election interference in the 2016 election. But you are talking to national security experts who are alarmed by what Barr is doing.
HARRIS: Yes, that's right, because I mean, I think it's -- while it technically may be true if there's a legitimate investigation that's open, the attorney general by all means can be overseeing that, but there seems to be, I think, from people on the receiving end of this, a clear, kind of political agenda to this.
And they are reading this as trying to validate the president's long held suspicions that this Russia probe had a corrupt origin over some kind of work of deep state conspiracy in the U.S. government, when we know because the Mueller investigation found what the origins of the probe were and they were nothing like that.
HARLOW: It's important reporting. I urge every one to read it. Thank you so much, Shane.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT now, the former director of national intelligence under President Obama, James Clapper.
Director Clapper, it's very nice to have you here.
So, the White House is defending the president's call with the Australian prime minister, saying in a statement in part tonight, quote: This call relates to a DOJ inquiry publicly announced months ago to uncover exactly what happened. The DOJ simply requested the president provide introductions to facilitate that ongoing inquiry and he did so. That's all.
Is that all or is it inappropriate, Director?
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I don't think the foreign governments in question, particularly the Australians have any doubts about what the real purpose here. It's another illustration of extraordinary lengths this administration and as with the attorney general as a point man, the extraordinary lengths that they are going to try to discredit the original reporting on the Russia interference and presumably any connections between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
HARLOW: The extent they are going, you're saying, to discredit basically the entirety of the U.S. intelligence community on this. I want to get you on a few other points. The Trump administration imposed these sanctions on Putin's key ally dubbed Putin's chef by the Russian process. What is this is for, this is for attempting to influence a 2018 midterm elections.
Here is what the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, quote: The administration will work tirelessly to safeguard our electoral process and will aggressively pursue any other foreign actor that attempts to interfere in the 2020 election. This comes as "The Washington Post" over the weekend with explosive reporting that in this now infamous Oval Office meeting with Kislyak, the Russians in 2017, the president said he was unconcerned with the Russians interference in the 2016 election.
So, given that, what's your confidence of the 2020 election will be free of meddling?
CLAPPER: Well, first, I thought the -- I mean, the sanctions on the Russian, that's a good thing.
HARLOW: Right. CLAPPER: I do wonder about the timing, you know, ten months after the midterms. And I couldn't help but reflect on the criticism the Obama administration took for administering sanctions on the 29th of December after the election on the 8th of November of 2016, but, anyway.
So, it's a good thing. I don't know if this was meant to counteract reporting on Russians or the president's rather cavalier dismissal of Russian interference on the election. I don't know.
I think a lot was done in 2018 and probably more will be done in 2020, in spite of, not because of the president's leadership, though.
HARLOW: So, today, we heard from former national security adviser John Bolton. He was speaking at an event in Washington, D.C. And he slammed the president's strategy on North Korea. We know they have never seen eye to eye on some key foreign policy moves, but the president has repeatedly been pointing to no nuclear tests as a sign of success with Kim Jong-un.
Here's a few times the president made that argument.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For three years, there's been no nuclear testing.
There's been no nuclear testing for a long time. A long time.
I say it again, there's been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short range.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: But, Director, here is John Bolton's read of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: North Korea has in its judgment, for well or ill, finished testing and can produce nuclear warheads and long range ballistic missiles. That's not an encouraging sign. That's a sign to be worried about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Is he right?
CLAPPER: Yes, he is. For once, I agree with Mr. Bolton. There's no way that Russia -- the North Koreans are going to denuclearize. It just isn't going to happen. It was made clear to me when I engaged with them five years ago and that hasn't changed a bit.
So, I think he's exactly right. I also agree with him that the reason for the apparent moderation in the North Korean behavior is nothing to do with what we have been doing or saying or the summits or the love- ins and all that. It's much more to do with the fact the North Koreans achieved whatever it is they think they needed to achieve in order to have nuclear deterrents. So, they don't have to test anymore because they have achieved that.
In the end, deterrence is about psychology.
HARLOW: Yes, that's a pretty scary thought. All right. Director Clapper, thank you for your expertise in all of those fronts. We appreciate it.
CLAPPER: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Ahead for us tonight, a new CNN poll finds support for impeachment is on the rise. You may be surprised to learn where some of that boost is coming from.
And the dilemma facing Democrats who won Republican districts in 2018. Do they play it safe or not?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At a certain point, you have to stand up for what you believe in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Tonight, more Americans are in favor of impeachment. A new CNN poll finds 47 percent of Americans feel the president should be impeached and remove from office. Forty-five percent say he should stay in office. In May, those numbers were 41 and 54 percent respective respectively.
And you're seeing a shift namely among Republicans and independents from May. There's an 11 percent increase in support for impeachment among dependents and 8 percent among Republicans.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, former Republican Senator Rick Santorum.
Good morning to you both. Thank you for being here.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Poppy.
HARLOW: And, Senator Santorum, let me just start with you.
And the point that struck me most reading through this poll is the increase in the younger Republicans who support impeachment. Twenty- two percent of Republicans under the age of 50,000 now support impeachment. That's up from 9 percent in May.
Does that concern you?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, look, I think it should concern the president. This isn't a good story as much as the White House would like to spin it that it is a good story.
And I think it's bad story for the president. It's a bad story for Joe Biden. I think it hurts both of them. It may be terminal for Joe Biden but it's certainly not good for the president either.
And, look, I think when you see this additional story, more stories piling on the president, I think younger people are going to be affected more, because, look, they tend to be a little bit more idealistic, thanks to be to God, than those older folks like us.
HARLOW: Who you're calling old? Who you're calling old, Rick?
SANTORUM: And I think when they see a story like this, I think they're turned off more.
HARLOW: All right. Careful who you call old on this show.
SANTORUM: I'm talking about me.
HARLOW: I know it's not Maria.
Maria, look, when you just heard the senator say this could be terminal for Joe Biden, I like to note again, zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Joe Biden or Hunter Biden at this point in time. But do you think that Biden should be responding more forcefully? Because we heard him on Friday say, essentially, I'm not going to entertain this because there's no "there" there. That's one strategy. But he also could write his own story here instead of letting the president write it for him.
CARDONA: Well, I think he will have to answer some more questions as he continues to be on the campaign trail. But I think that he's doing the right thing now. I think it's smart to be dismissing this because there is no factual evidence to back up the conspiracy theory that President Trump wants to continue to push on this.
And, Poppy, there's a reason why these numbers have changed. This is an easy story to understand, for American people to see the transcript, to se the whistleblower account, to see how they match. And they understand that what this president did was an egregious abuse of power. It was a shredding of the Constitution. It put in danger of our national security. It was a betrayal of the president's oath of office.
HARLOW: So --
CARDONA: And it was a Judas' kiss to the American people.
HARLOW: So, Senator, to that point, retired Republican Senator Jeff Flake, has a new op-ed in "The Washington Post". I know you've read it. He's urging Republicans not support the president in 2020.
He writes, whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he doesn't deserve re-election. Our country will have more presidents but principles will get one just crack at those.
You are a man, Senator, who ran on principles. Why is Flake wrong?
SANTORUM: Well, look, Jeff Flake doesn't like the president. He's been a Trump foe now for some time. They had a very public fallen out, obviously.
This is like Bill Kristol coming on CNN and saying don't vote for the president.
HARLOW: Do you think he's wrong?
SANTORUM: I mean, it's a Republican who doesn't support the president.
HARLOW: At the core of it, as again, somebody who run on principles, do you think he's wrong?
SANTORUM: Look, I -- I have -- and I've said it repeatedly. I have a lot of problems with what the president did. The president should not have brought up Joe Biden in this conversation. I don't think it was a quid pro quo. I don't there was anything going on.
But he shouldn't have brought up. And he does a lot of things like this story you just had before where he says, I'm going after the whistleblower.
This is not smart politics. This is not appropriate ethical conduct. And I think that -- again, going back to the young people who are may be turned off, it's the continuation of the president acting out of control and not -- and doing things that are not presidential. That doesn't help the president.
HARLOW: So, Maria, I think it's important to note that Jeff Flake notes in this op-ed that this would also help the president. He says an impeachment proceeding in such a toxic moment might actually benefit a president who thrives on chaos.
Is that a risk that Democrats are fully enough considering?
CARDONA: I think that they are because they did not do this lightly, Poppy. You know very well that a lot of liberal Democrats have been pushing Nancy Pelosi and the more moderates to move to this impeachment inquiry a lot quicker than they did. And when did they do it? When they saw the evidence, when they saw the quid pro quo, when they saw a very clear abuse of power.
And to my friend Rick Santorum's point just now, it also is going to come time for Republicans to as Jeff Flake said, look to see if their souls are worth continuing to support this unfit president who has essentially given the finger to the Constitution.
HARLOW: I will note, it's different to say something like this when you're no longer in office and you're not running again. That's when we heard him speak out.
CARDONA: That's why he's not running again and he's out of office, Poppy.
HARLOW: Thank you, both, Maria and Senator Santorum. So nice to have you.
CARDONA: Thank you, Poppy.
HARLOW: So, OUTFRONT next, a great report, fascinating. Swing district Democrats, do their supporters fear they could lose in 2020 if they support the impeachment investigation?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Would you worry about her chances for re-election?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would. I think she's done a good job so far and I would hate to see her lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Also, Jeanne Moos on Trump's perfect call.
HARLOW: Tonight, Congresswoman Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, one of the dozen House Democrats yet to back the impeachment inquiry into the president, just explain explained her decision to voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KENDRA HORN (D-OK): I think it's important that we take the time do it deliberately and intentionally and thoughtfully and that any decisions that I make will be based on facts and the evidence that is -- that is presented.
(EN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: But how do her constituents feel?
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got 77 counties here, and Hillary didn't win one. Barack didn't win either election. Not one county.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to Oklahoma, a deep red state, with just one blue spot in its 5th congressional district.
CROWD: Kendra! Kendra! Kendra!
LAH: Democrat Kendra Horn beat the incumbent last year, winning by less than 2 percentage points.
HORN: We surprised a lot of people didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't think we had a chance in Oklahoma.
LAH: Fast forward a year as House Democrats begin impeachment proceedings. Horn is in a political pickle. Two hundred twenty-three of Horn's fellow House Democrats support an impeachment inquiry against President Trump but she and 11 other so-called holdouts have not done so. Nearly all represent pro-Trump territory.
REP. ANDY KIM (D-NJ): So grateful for it.
LAH: Democrat Andy Kim knows the predicament well. He flipped New Jersey's 3rd district from red to blue last year. Kim announced his support for an inquiry just last week.
KIM: I mean, look, it's up to the American people to decide when it comes to their elections of who they want.
LAH: Back in Oklahoma City, some Democrats want Horn to play it safe.
(on camera): Would you worry about her chances for re-election?
OLIVIA HANSON, REGISTERED DEMOCRAT: I would. I think she's done a good job so far, I would hate to see her lose.
LAH (voice-over): But Horn also must contend with her Democratic base.
KEVIN MOORE, REGISTERED DEMOCRAT: I would rather her go with the impeachment and lose her seat than worry about what happens to her position. At a certain point, you have to stand up for what you believe in. I don't think people here ever expect a Democrat to win. However, the demographics are changing.
LAH: They're not changing that quickly, warn some Republicans.
MIKE MUNDAY, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: I am hardcore Republican.
LAH: Support for impeaching Trump, predicts Mike Munday, would energize voters like him.
MUNDAY: If she wants a prayer to win this next time, I would suggest that she not vote for the impeachment.
LAH: Now, keeping my voice low here because Representative Horn is addressing her town hall. This is a meeting about mental health, but you heard her, Poppy, addressing this right off the top. The room is packed here.
Certainly, she's expecting that she'll be taken questions from some of the people who've come to inquire if she has moved at all, and she's indicating right now that she's not going to be rushing into any decision -- Poppy.
HARLOW: It's a fascinating piece. Kyung, thank you so much for bringing us those voices.
LAH: You bet.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on Trump, the perfectionist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Absolutely perfect phone call. It was a perfect conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Does saying the word, perfect, again and again make it so?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When was the last time you picked up the phone and had --
TRUMP: An absolutely perfect phone call. It was a perfect conversation. Absolutely perfect.
MOOS: So perfect, you called other people, even your foes.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He told me it was perfect.
MOOS: So perfect, comedians imitated you.
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: It was a perfect call.
My question is, if it was such a perfect call, why are you behaving like a bedwetter trying to hurry up and wash the sheets?
MOOS: But President Trump wasn't changing his tactics. On Monday, he was at it again. Pleading perfection to describe his call with Ukraine's president.
TRUMP: The call was perfect. It was perfect. It was perfect.
MOOS: Perfectly incriminating, tweeted one critic. Perfect except for the "do me a favor" part. Does he not realize that we can read the transcript?
TREVOR NOAH, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: If this phone call is so damning, why did Trump even release the transcript? Only an idiot would do that. Exactly. And also --
MOOS: But why stop at perfection? TRUMP: It was a beautiful, warm, nice conversation.
It was actually a beautiful conversation.
MOOS (on camera): A beautiful phone conversation is sort of an extension of the beautiful letters President Trump always says he gets.
TRUMP: A very beautiful letter from President Xi. Well, he just wrote me a beautiful letter.
MOOS (voice-over): From China's president, from North Korea's leader.
TRUMP: He wrote me beautiful letters. We fell in love.
MOOS: But unlike those beautiful letters we actually got to read the beautiful phone call summary.
PELOSI: He didn't even know that it was wrong. Saying it was perfect.
MOOS: How perfect?
TRUMP: It was absolutely a 10, it was perfect.
SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: A 10? Why are you talking about a phone call like you're creeping on women at the beach?
MOOS: There's nothing like a threat of impeachment to turn a president into a perfectionist.
TRUMP: You take a look at that call, it was perfect.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos --
TRUMP: It's absolutely perfect.
MOOS: -- CNN --
TRUMP: My call was perfect.
MOOS: -- New York.
HARLOW: No one does it quite like Jeanne.
Thanks for a perfect evening. Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.