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Flurry of Impeachment Probe Developments in Last 24 Hours; Mike Pompeo was on Trump Call with Ukraine President; House Dems Subpoena Rudy Giuliani's for Ukraine Records; GOP Struggles to Defend Trump as Impeachment Probe Heats Up; CNN: Trump Pressured Australian Prime Minister to Help Attorney General Barr Investigate Origins of Mueller's Russia Probe; Markets Set to Begin Final Quarters of 2019. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired October 1, 2019 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Sciutto. Today a series of new and significant developments in a growing impeachment inquiry. Here's what we've learned in just the last 24 hours. First, there's another phone call. Source telling CNN that President Trump recently pushed Australia's prime minister to help Attorney General Bill Barr with his investigations into the origins of the Russia probe.
HARLOW: Now that official says the call was Barr's idea and completely different from that phone call with Ukraine but speaking of the Ukraine call, a source now says that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was actually on that call as the president pressured Ukraine's leader to investigate a political opponent. Pompeo never mentioned that fact despite fielding multiple questions about that call.
Now the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has now been subpoenaed for all documents related to his admitted role in that plan.
SCIUTTO: Also in the last 24 hours, the president's defenses debunked. We've seen false claim after false claim pushed by the president and his allies getting fact checked and not just by journalists but by those inside the Trump administration. The inspector general who was, we should note, appointed by President Trump, says the president is wrong on two claims about the whistleblower, that he relied solely on second-hand knowledge, and that the whistleblower rules were somehow changed just before this complaint was issued. Both claims are in fact false.
Our team is covering this from all angles. Let's begin with CNN justice correspondent -- senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.
So, Evan, the president has been hinting at this. A lot of the president's allies for some time, that the subject matter of this probe into the origins of the 2016 Russia probe are explosive. What do we know about it? And is that claim substantive? EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, we know that
the president pressed the Australian prime minister in a recent phone call to essentially provide some assistance to this investigation that's now ongoing from the Justice Department and it goes beyond Australia. The Justice Department says that at the request of Attorney General Bill Barr the president has been asking other countries to help with this investigation.
Now, if you remember, from covering this over the last couple of years, we know that a number of countries provided intelligence and other information to this investigation which became the Mueller probe. That includes the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Italians, the Cypriots, a number of countries that could get pressed to provide this kind of information. We know that Bill Barr has been making trips overseas to try to get that done.
Now the prosecutor who's running this is John Durham out of Connecticut and we're told that he's still in the early stages of this investigation -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Is there concern -- because you speak to some former intelligence officials and others, they're concerned that there might be criminal referrals from this? I know it's early but do we have any sense as to how far this will go?
PEREZ: We don't know yet. I mean, look, again, it's still very early but we do know that John Durham has a good reputation, he's very thorough. You in your work and me in my work we've talked to a number of people who were involved in this investigation and they tell us that things were done appropriately. And so if that's correct then I think John Durham will find that and will come back with that result in perhaps another year or so, but again this is very early in these stages of this investigation.
HARLOW: Evan, before you go, I mean, I think it is striking and very telling that the administration is essentially having to fact-check itself right now in real time. The fact that the inspector general appointed by President Trump yesterday twice had to put out statements to refute claims that the president was making is remarkable.
PEREZ: It is remarkable. I mean, the inspector general doesn't speak very often. It's very rare that he issues statements, but this was one that was spiraling out of control because the president was tweeting a story from a right-wing news organization so a couple of things. The statement says that the whistleblower, unlike what was being accused, the whistleblower possessed firsthand knowledge of the report, the complaint that was being made. The inspector general also said that they did a preliminary investigation which verified and corroborated some of what the whistleblower were saying.
And then secondly, this idea that the rules were changed in the past year to allow for second-hand information that is completely false according to the inspector general. The rules have remained the same, and it doesn't matter in any case because the whistleblower possessed firsthand knowledge, they weren't on the phone call with the Ukrainian president, but they had firsthand information and the inspector general's investigators were able to gather additional information which they believe made it more credible and led to their finding that this was an urgent concern.
SCIUTTO: Well, folks, listen to the facts. Not to the partisan claims by the press.
HARLOW: There you go.
SCIUTTO: Evan Perez, thanks very much.
Let's get the latest from the White House. Joe Johns joins me now.
So, Joe, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a number of opportunities in recent days and weeks to highlight his participation in this call. He did not take those opportunities but now we know that he was on the Ukraine call.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right. So there's a question immediately of transparency and openness, which is one of those values the United States tries to impose on other countries. He is the top diplomat, of course. He's traveling right now in Europe with a lot of questions back here at home about his own transparency and openness. He was asked about this Ukraine situation on the record on television and he didn't volunteer anything. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABS NEWS' "THIS WEEK": What do you know about those conversations?
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: So, you just gave me a report about an IC -- whistleblower complaint. None of which I have seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: The farthest he's gone on this is a little bit of a statement. I'll just read it. To the best of my knowledge he has said so far from what I've seen each of the actions undertaken by State Department officials is entirely appropriate and consistent with the objective they've had since they took over the administration.
There are a lot of questions, too, about who else at the State Department or in the government actually was on the call now.
JOHNS: We know a lot of people were. Back to you -- Poppy.
HARLOW: It's amazing to hear that non-answer, I mean, from Pompeo knowing what we know now.
All right, Joe, before you go, CNN has learned in the last few hours that White House allies are growing pretty concerned. They think the president doesn't understand the gravity of what he is facing and how quickly it's moving.
JOHNS: That seems to be the case and the question is what kind of a defense are they going to mount. There is typically in a situation like this particularly when you're headed to an election, an idea of putting together a war room or some type of rapid response, so far that hasn't been the answer. It's been pretty much defense by tweet. And of course, that's problematic.
We do know that the White House does have in place a large legal team that they used during the Mueller report stuff and we're told a lot of those folks are still staying on. But as far as how to deal with the politics of it, it looks like they're just leaving it up to the president at least for now and of course, we got a long way to go.
HARLOW: Joe Johns at the White House this morning, thank you for all of that.
For more on the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, now facing the subpoena from House Democrats, Lauren Fox is on the Hill with more.
It just -- it's not clear at all right now, Lauren, if he is even going to comply with all of these document demands.
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. He got the subpoena yesterday from the House Intelligence Committee in consultation with House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight into the investigation into whether or not President Trump was asking foreign leaders to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. It's not clear if he will comply, like you said, Poppy, but the deadline for those documents is October 15th.
Another upcoming deadline is Friday for documents from Mike Pompeo, the secretary of State. Also this week the House Intelligence Committee has a busy schedule. They expect to hear from former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, they'll also hear on Friday from the Intelligence Community's inspector general Michael Atkinson.
It's a very busy week up here on Capitol Hill despite the fact that it is congressional recess and despite the fact that this investigation, this formal impeachment inquiry, just started a little over a week ago now -- Poppy.
SCIUTTO: Lauren Fox on the Hill, thanks very much.
Joining us now to discuss, CNN national security analyst Shawn Turner. He is the former director of communication for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Shawn, good to have you on this morning particularly in light of your experience here.
SHAWN TURNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thanks, Jim. SCIUTTO: So, you, of course, were serving at the time of the start of
the counter intelligence investigation in 2016 election here. You hear from the president. You now have his attorney general traveling the world apparently looking for evidence that it did not start properly. Based on your experience of the origin of this investigation, were things done by the book?
TURNER: Well, look, you know, I think that if there were people in the intelligence community who had not done things by the book then that would certainly come to light. Look, let's just talk for a second here about what the attorney general was doing. Attorney General Barr's top priority should be to make sure that the investigative process, the legal proceedings, are carried out in a fair and impartial way.
What he should want to do is make sure that the facts, the actual facts, not preferred facts come to light, but what we have now is we have a situation in which as opposed to making sure that the investigation that's already happened is adjudicated properly, he is going to other countries and trying to get those other countries to investigate the investigation.
There are so many problems with that, Jim, that I can't begin. But I'll just tell you that the main problem with that is that for countries like Italy, the U.K. and Australia to investigate the FBI and the CIA they necessarily have to use their intelligence resources. And they would be doing that at the invitation of the attorney general of the United States.
TURNER: And that's pretty startling.
HARLOW: So, Shawn, just to break that down a little more for our viewers because Attorney General Bill Barr, according to the "Washington Post" reporting that broke last night, went to Italy as recently as last week to ask for their help in this. Right? He went to the U.K. to ask for their intelligence community to investigate the U.S. intelligence community to see if they did something wrong.
HARLOW: So what -- fast forward to what that looks like for our intelligence community on the world stage and whether it can be trusted.
TURNER: Yes. You know, I have to tell you as a former intelligence officer there are no words to describe just how startling that is. There is not another country on earth that has investigative authority inside the United States. There's no country who can come in and perform the functions that our FBI performs. And so, for Italy to do any investigation at all here in the United States one of two things has to happen. They would either have to turn to their -- as was being suggested, turn to their intelligence resources and basically conduct espionage here in the United States. They've got to gather that information somehow.
It could also be the case that Attorney General Barr is agreeing to provide the sources of the Department of Justice, the resources of the Department of Justice so that Italy could do this. Either way, it's inappropriate and the kind of thing that the intelligence community is very concerned about.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this. Because if the instruments of power and government are being used to relitigate the investigation of the 2016 election interference, what does that tell you about the focus in defending the next election from foreign interference including from Russia? You know, Bill Barr is not traveling to Russia to deliver an important message to them saying don't interfere. Right? He is going back and trying to find evidence that 2016 didn't go right.
TURNER: Yes. Well, you know, and this is really unusual because, you know, if you look at the Mueller investigation, look, it was a very thorough investigation and while there are a lot of people who believe that it was going to be a bombshell, there'll be a smoking gun, the truth is, is that, you know, the investigation found that there was no formal agreement between the Trump administration and the Russian government to interfere in the election.
Nonetheless, what you have is the attorney general still trying to discredit that investigation. That sends a very clear message not only to the Russians but to others around the world who watched very closely and will learn a lot from the Russians with regard to how the United States reacted to the interference, it tells them that if you interfere in our elections that the consequences are not going to be high. It tells people that there may not be consequences at all. In fact, that we may actually turn on ourselves in that instance. And so, you know, it's not a positive message at all for future elections.
HARLOW: Shawn Turner, your expertise is invaluable in moments like this. Thank you so very much.
Still to come, more on that news that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on that call with President Trump and Ukraine's leader. Why are we only learning about this now?
And President Trump getting fact-checked in real time by his own administration. How the intel community IG is shooting down disinformation.
SCIUTTO: That's remarkable to watch in real time.
Plus, protests in Hong Kong this morning becoming violent. Police firing teargas but also importantly firing a live round at a protester during the chaos. We're going to take you to Hong Kong live.
JIM SCIUTTO, CO-ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Welcome back. If you're keeping track, we have one cabinet official suggesting the president asked a world leader for help on an investigation. Another cabinet official listening in on a phone call in which the president pressured a different world leader for dirt on a likely political opponent.
POPPY HARLOW, CO-ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: And an administration that is essentially now fact-checking itself in real-time as the president defends himself using disinformation. Let's talk about all of this and just what the last 24 hours have shown us. CNN senior political analyst John Avlon is here and CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover, also the host of "PBS" "Firing Line", and you worked in the Bush White House. So, this is a little bit different than what you saw in your experience.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's a little different than the Bush White House --
HARLOW: It's just a little bit --
HOOVER: You're right --
HARLOW: Different. But the fact that we have the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community appointed by the president twice yesterday in real-time fact-checking the president because of false claims that he and his allies keep spewing. What does that tell you about where we are?
HOOVER: They did "The New York Times" a favor, that's two more lies, they don't have to fact-check. Look -- what is it? I mean, there's nothing -- this is a developing story and there's more every day. I mean, the things that we all saw on our Twitter feed yesterday, it was just a check mark of three big news events. Happy Monday.
HARLOW: Right --
HOOVER: That is the nature. We have gotten used to it, we're numb to it a little bit except for that your job is to cover it and to make sure that the American people know that this isn't normal to not normalize it. We do have to still understand that it is not normal for a president of the United States to use the power and the trust of the American people to leverage American foreign policy towards his own political ambitions and goals.
SCIUTTO: Yes --
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
HOOVER: That is deeply offensive I think to the idea and to the promise of --
HARLOW: The promise.
HOOVER: The trust and the faith that the American people put in the president. On the other hand, this has to be said, and it can't be said enough, the people who elected Donald Trump are not disappointed with him for doing that.
And as long as he has his base and the political support behind him, we can say that this is abnormal and inappropriate, but it is as long as there's this transparency and the people and the base support him, and if they continue to support him, so be it.
SCIUTTO: I wonder what test that -- because --
AVLON: Yes --
SCIUTTO: You see him using his most senior officials, he was sending -- he was dispatching Bill Barr, right, to other countries to pursue this investigation, but it bears repeating, just watch this moment with Mike --
HARLOW: Yes --
SCIUTTO: Pompeo when he was asked about what he knew about this call and his answer now. Let's play it, I want to get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you know about those conversations?
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: So, you just gave me a report about -- I see, a whistleblower complaint, none of which I've seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: So, I mean, his answer was a little dodgy there, but we now know he was on that call. Where's Mike Pompeo's credibility in this?
AVLON: To make it real simple, Mike Pompeo lied to the American people. Also, when he was asked that question, it was 24 hours after the article had first been published alleging this issue. So, it's not like he hadn't had time to get brought up to speed on even that issue. But this is a pattern, the president tends to try to reward people who define their duty within the cabinet as being the best sycophants he can possibly get at any given time.
He is now dispatching the Attorney General of the United States around the world to ask our allies to dig up dirt against our own intelligence services to benefit the president's re-election.
HOOVER: To dig up dirt? Just to push back a little bit. I mean, I agree with you. This is to investigate the investigators.
SCIUTTO: Which is a --
HOOVER: And that is what -- that is what the president has asked his own Justice Department to look at his own Justice Department's reporting about the 2016 election. I agree this is unusual --
AVLON: Again, driven by self-interest --
HOOVER: Inappropriate. AVLON: OK --
HOOVER: I agree with that. But it's unclear that he's asking foreign governments to dig up dirt on his own FBI.
SCIUTTO: He's asking foreign -- our allies to investigate our Intelligence community's for his own political --
HARLOW: The origins of the Russia probe.
HOOVER: Guys, how do I state it --
HARLOW: Listen to this. Chess champion and also a Putin critic, Gary Kasparov this morning tweeting, quote, "this is part of the flood not dam model. They want doubt. They can make up a dozen new lies and new distractions every day while there's only one truth. Stop chasing them and keep repeating the facts."
So, Margaret Hoover, you advised Republicans and you have seen people like Lindsey Graham and Jim Jordan come out, spewing things they know are not correct. But they don't define the party, so where are the other voices?
HOOVER: Actually, they're absolutely representing the base of the party. I mean, that's the --
HARLOW: The entire party I should say.
HOOVER: I would --
HARLOW: You saw Jeff Flake's op-ed --
AVLON: Not you --
HOOVER: Jeff Flake who is not an elected --
HARLOW: Yes --
HOOVER: Member of anything anymore, the only as we've seen, the only Republican who has expressed doubt and concern is Mitt Romney who comes from a state that isn't entirely mowed over by the president of the United States, even though they did vote for Trump by large margins --
SCIUTTO: Adam Kissinger --
HOOVER: I think Kissinger is --
HARLOW: Sure --
HOOVER: Exactly true. But that's it, right? So, we can count them --
AVLON: More --
HOOVER: On one hand, and what that should tell us, right, is that the base of the party -- it's not even the base of the party, guys, it's the majority of the party --
SCIUTTO: Hold on, come on board if I can because --
AVLON: Yes --
SCIUTTO: If you're looking for a clear definitive, this will not stand statement, that's true. But I wonder if we should look for more incremental steps. I mean, for instance, I interviewed James Comer last week, a die-hard red state Kentucky Republican, he defended the president, but said wait a second, keeping those phone calls secret, that needs to be investigated.
You know, you have -- I wonder if --
HARLOW: That's true.
SCIUTTO: I wonder if he should look for micro or incremental moves here because it's not going to change in a day.
AVLON: And no, and look at CNN's own polling yesterday showed that there was an 8 percent uptick in support for impeachment and removal from office among Republicans.
HOOVER: Well, because you guys are --
HARLOW: And up to 22 percent for young Republicans --
HOOVER: Let's not race to the finish --
AVLON: Sure --
HOOVER: Guys, let's not race to the finish, I think you're right. I think -- I think Jim, there are -- because racing to the finish and saying they're not for impeachment, they're crazy.
SCIUTTO: Right --
HOOVER: Right? That's not it. Because there are reasonable Republicans across this country who still support the president, but who are deeply troubled -- the way Mitt Romney said --
SCIUTTO: Right --
HOOVER: By parts of this, OK? And so, this is -- this is an unfolding inquiry. Listen, we are going to learn a lot, there's a huge amount of uncertainty and we will see how the facts lay themselves out.
SCIUTTO: Yes --
HOOVER: But right now, the way it's being covered and what they're hearing, most of the hearing is, this is a -- this is a --
SCIUTTO: Well, that's exactly the right approach for all of us, right? Is wait until you see the whole --
AVLON: But we cannot -- our government depends -- our republic depends upon it being able to reason together. We cannot be a Tower of Babel caught in separate political realities based on tribal identification.
HOOVER: Right --
AVLON: Facts matter. And those Republicans who allow themselves to go out as surrogates of the president and spout lies and have the -- and amplify disinformation coming from the Oval Office do themselves, our country --
SCIUTTO: Yes --
AVLON: And the party a great disservice.
HARLOW: Why everyone should watch your reality check.
SCIUTTO: There you go.
HARLOW: Every -- and Margaret's extensive, lengthy --
HOOVER: Of course --
HARLOW: Interviews --
HOOVER: So, we can reason together.
SCIUTTO: Reason together, debunking by his own administration on some of these claims.
HOOVER: Great insight --
SCIUTTO: John Avlon, Margaret Hoover, great to have you on --
HARLOW: Thanks, guys --
SCIUTTO: We now know the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as we just noted was on the call when President Trump pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 election. Will Congress now bring the Secretary of State to testify?
HARLOW: I think they will. We're moments away from the opening bell on Wall Street. Markets should kick off the final quarter of 2019 today with the same problems and trade fears that have been sparking volatility. The U.S. and China, those delegations meet next week to resume those trade talks.
And a new round of tariffs that was set to go into effect today has been pushed back until the middle of the month. Also, the Fed will meet one more time before the end of the year. Could another rate cut be coming? Corporate earnings season also starting up. The trade war with China is starting to have a big impact on those multi- national corporations. So, a lot going on.