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THE SITUATION ROOM

Police Officer Who Killed Her Neighbor In His Own Home Found Guilty Of Murder, Could Face Life In Prison; "New York Times" Reports Trump Suggested Shooting Migrants In The Legs, Putting Snakes Or Alligators In Water-Filled Trench At Border; Sanders Reports $25.3 Million In Third-Quarter Fundraising. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired October 1, 2019 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:00]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The Senate's most senior Republican rebukes the president for attacking the whistle-blower who exposed the Ukraine scandal. Will other GOP lawmakers focus -- or -- pardon me -- follow Chuck Grassley's lead?

And guilty of murder. That's the verdict in the case of a former police officer who shot and killed her neighbor in his own home. Jurors rejecting her defense that she thought he was in her apartment.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: We're following breaking news in the impeachment investigation.

Sources tell CNN that the Trump administration's former envoy to Ukraine still plans to be questioned by members of Congress on Thursday, this despite Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's efforts to stall any immediate testimony by State Department officials about the Ukraine scandal.

Tonight, Pompeo and top House Democrats are accusing each other of trying to intimidate witnesses, with the Democrats warning that Pompeo's actions may be used as evidence of obstruction.

I will be getting reaction from a Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Steve Cohen. And our correspondents and analysts are also standing by.

Let's go to the White House first and CNN White House Correspondent, Kaitlan Collins.

Kaitlan, Secretary Pompeo is facing growing pressure and also scrutiny as this probe intensifies.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And, essentially, Brianna, what he's arguing in this letter is that

Democrats rushed these requests to sit down with these officials. But one former official doesn't seem to think it's happening too soon.

That's because Kurt Volker, who is the former special envoy to Ukraine who resigned last week after he got caught up in the middle of this scandal, has agreed to continue to sit down with Democrats on Thursday for his deposition.

But now the question is going to be how much he will say and whether or not the State Department will try to limit it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And it's a disgrace.

COLLINS (voice-over): Tonight, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is following President Trump's lead, accusing Democrats with questions about Ukraine of trying to intimidate and bully State Department officials into giving rushed depositions.

The secretary of state writing in a letter: "I will not tolerate such tactics."

The three Democratic chairs fired back quickly, saying Pompeo should immediately sees intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president.

Secretary Pompeo's actions also coming under scrutiny from someone who once held his job.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The secretary of state's job is to make sure that he knows, number one, what the president's going to say on those calls.

COLLINS: CNN has confirmed Pompeo was listening in when Trump pressured Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, even though he seems surprised by a question about those conversations just days ago.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: So you just gave me a report about an I.C. whistle-blower complaint, none of which I have seen.

COLLINS: As Trump maintains his call was perfect, the Ukrainian president is distancing himself from the man at the center of it all.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: I have never met Rudy Giuliani, never.

COLLINS: As the impeachment inquiry heats up, Trump is keeping his focus on the whistle-blower, insisting he's entitled to interview the person who started the investigation.

The president is questioning the identity of the whistle-blower, as his allies are questioning their motives. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: What's going on here? Why

did they change the rules about a whistle-blower, you can use hearsay, when you used to could not just weeks before the complaint?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): He had no firsthand knowledge.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He is giving them hearsay evidence.

COLLINS: But none of what they said is true, according to Trump's own intelligence community inspector general, who in a rare pushback said the official had some firsthand knowledge and none of the rules to be a whistle-blower have changed.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley chairs the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, and he broke with Trump today when he said the official ought to be heard and protected.

One official still in the president's corner is Attorney General Bill Barr, who in recent months has pressed multiple foreign leaders for help as he investigates the origins of the Russia investigation, following Trump's orders from May.

TRUMP: And I hope he looks at the U.K. And I hope he looks at Australia. And I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Now, Brianna, right now, the secretary of state is traveling overseas, where the reporters with him have asked him questions about his role in this scandal.

So far, he hasn't answered those questions. We're going to be waiting to see what he says and whether or not these other officials follow suit with the former official who is still going to sit down with those Democrats.

KEILAR: All right, Kaitlan Collins at the White House, thank you.

And let's get more now on this battle between the State Department and impeachment investigators on the Hill.

[18:05:01]

We have CNN Congressional Correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty joining us.

And, Sunlen, despite what we heard today from Secretary Pompeo, Congress could still hear from key players outlined in this complaint.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brianna.

Despite all this, the president's former special envoy to the Ukraine, Kurt Volker, he says he will still appear up here on Capitol Hill on Thursday. And that's according to an aide, telling CNN tonight the testimony likely behind closed doors on Thursday.

Volker, of course, is no longer a State Department employee, after he abruptly resigned last week after being named in the whistle-blower report, the whistle-blower alleging that Volker had involvement in the conversations with the Ukrainian president about how to navigate the demands, the complaint says, that President Trump made of the Ukrainian president.

And he was one of the five people that the committees had wanted to talk to, wanted to get depositions from over the course of this two- week recess. Now, meantime, the testimony of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, which had been scheduled for tomorrow up here on Capitol Hill, that delayed at least a week, likely pushed until Friday of next week, Brianna.

These voices potentially significant in the Democrats' impeachment probe.

KEILAR: And, Sunlen, we just heard Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is breaking with the president, saying the whistle-blower deserves to be heard.

What else is he saying?

SERFATY: Yes, Grassley's voice is such a key Republican up here on Capitol Hill.

And this is certainly a big rebuke, significant that he is essentially breaking with President Trump and almost calling him out directly, saying that the whistle-blower should be heard and protected, Grassley out with a statement this afternoon saying in part -- quote -- "No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts. Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn't serve the country."

Grassley is the chamber's senior most Republican and someone who has worked on whistle-blower protection laws for years, so certainly significant words and stinging words absolutely directed in President Trump's direction tonight, even though he does not name President Trump by name in the statement -- Brianna.

KEILAR: But it's definitely clear, as you say.

Sunlen, thank you.

And we're getting more breaking news on a critical briefing expected on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

CNN National Security Reporter, Kylie Atwood is here with us.

What are you learning?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, so the State Department's inspector general has now just today requested an urgent meeting with key committees on the Hill. It's a bipartisan meeting that the inspector general wants to have

with these aides from these committees. And I just got off the phone with one of the congressional sources who described this letter to me, did not show us a letter, but said it's highly unusually and cryptically worded, saying there that they didn't really explain what they need to discuss, but did say that they got documents from the State Department's acting legal adviser.

So that would be the legal adviser who operates to Secretary Pompeo and those at the State Department. And they want to come to Congress and talk about those documents.

KEILAR: OK, so tell us more about this inspector general of the State Department. They're supposed to be a very independent watchdog.

ATWOOD: Yes, they are.

So they operate somewhat independently from the State Department. They still deal a lot with State Department officials. But they are the body that takes in any complaints about things that are going wrong at the State Department.

At the same time, they work with the folks at the State Department who are the legal counsel, the lawyers who would be working with these State Department officials who are going to be deposed before these committees.

So they have some connections, but they do operate independently as well. It's just very unclear exactly what they're going to be bringing to the Hill tomorrow. And it could be extremely consequential to how this moves forward with this current controversy in what the State Department knew and when about what Giuliani was really doing.

KEILAR: Highly unusual and cryptically worded. So that's the description of the documents?

ATWOOD: Yes.

KEILAR: OK.

ATWOOD: So the letter really had very few details. It was an urgent request to meet. That's not something that you traditionally see.

Usually, they give some time, but this is something that they felt like they really needed to talk to Congress about right now. So that's why they're going to meet tomorrow.

KEILAR: Very interesting. We will be watching, as you will.

Kylie Atwood, thank you so much.

Joining me now is Congressman Steve Cohen, a Democrat who serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

So you heard Kylie's reporting there of what is expected, or should I say, what is maybe not expected. There's just so many questions about what is going to be coming Congress' way tomorrow.

What questions do you have about this?

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Well, I have got a lot of questions about Pompeo, who feigned ignorance of the whole process in an interview a couple days ago, when it's been discovered he was on the call.

[18:10:03]

So Pompeo should have basically recused himself, because he's going to be a witness. And he's not being straight with the public, when he said he didn't know anything about it.

And he also said he picked up the whistle-blower complaint, he read two paragraphs, and he put it down, and he went to some other work.

Well, he's not doing his job. If you're the secretary of state, and you get a whistle-blower complaint about something going on with the Ukrainian president and the president of the United States, you read that, you call in your advisers, and you find out, get to the bottom of it.

So Pompeo is either not doing his job or he's lying to the American public about what he's doing. Same thing with Barr. Barr claimed he didn't know anything about the calls with the Ukrainian president and the president hadn't told him anything about it.

Yet he's going all over Europe on a tour and meeting with heads of state, at Trump's instruction, and getting back to Trump on it and telling him to call Australia.

Trump and Barr must have like Coca-Cola cans connected with a string and talking to each other like they're BFFs. And he doesn't know anything about the Ukraine call, which is where the main conspiratorial theorists say something happened, and that's the main thing Trump wants to solve, is the -- whether something happened in Ukraine?

He thinks that Hillary Clinton's 33,000 e-mails are there on some server from crowdsource. And he thinks that the whole Russia thing started there. Well, that's the crux of it. He's talked to Barr about it. And Barr denies it.

So we got people in the administration who are involved and are lying to the public. It's a cover-up of a cover-up of a cover-up.

KEILAR: CrowdStrike, just to be clear. You said crowdsource. I know what you mean, though, CrowdStrike.

COHEN: That's right.

KEILAR: I want to ask you, do you have confidence in the State Department inspector general, who has requested this bipartisan staff briefing with congressional committees tomorrow about documents on Ukraine?

COHEN: Only based on what the inspector generals are supposed to be.

And every inspector general I have ever had any knowledge of has been a straight shooter and an honest broker. I presume this man is similar, but I can't say anything personally about him.

KEILAR: OK.

And you don't have any information about this e-mail that went to staff requesting this briefing?

COHEN: No, I haven't. I just know that the country is in a terrible situation, because we have had our national security jeopardized by a political call and interference sought from the Ukrainian president by our president, that this is very questionable and subverts the Constitution and is an abuse of his power.

And that's what we need to be looking at, and not going down rabbit trails. This whole thing of looking for what they're looking for and Barr's over in Europe looking for, it's the same thing on an international basis as if the president sent Barr to New Mexico to look for little green men out there and aliens.

This is just conspiracy theory to the nth. The Mueller report has concluded Russia did it. The inspector general is going to report. And this report is out to try to show that the intelligence community, that the CIA, that the FBI, that they're all wrong.

The president should be working for the United States, and not against the United States. And the CIA and the FBI and the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation are all part of what he's supposed to be supporting, and not trying to tear apart and tear asunder.

KEILAR: The secretary of state has sent a letter trying to delay depositions by key witnesses on Ukraine.

The former special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, though, who resigned recently, is still planning to testify to Congress on Thursday. How significant do you see that to be?

COHEN: Volker has a reputation as an honest broker.

I think he wants to make sure that he participates in a meaningful way. And he wants to be honest, and he wants to clear his name. I don't think there's been any hair of the hypocrite on him ever and no questions about his integrity. And I think he will come forward and give good and succinct testimony.

Now, the ambassador who was hustled off two months early from Ukraine and basically terminated, and Pompeo had something to do with that, although Giuliani apparently was the instigator, and Trump got all these paranoid vibes about her, thinking he -- she was against him, when she -- there was no proof of that whatsoever.

She's been put off for a week. But she will testify. And she will give the truth about what occurred in Ukraine May the 4th, when she was pushed out, and prior to that with Giuliani. And that's important.

But Dr. King said, appropriately, justice delayed is justice denied. And that's what I think you're seeing from the State Department and the White House, is to try to have justice delayed, because they're running out the clock.

KEILAR: What do you -- what would you want to know? Like, what questions do you have for Kurt Volker?

COHEN: What was Giuliani's role? Did he have any contacts with the State Department that confirm that Giuliani was working for them, or if he's strictly a loose free agent?

[18:15:03]

What were the issues that he raised with him? Did he have anything other than the conspiracy theories that we have seen otherwise to suggest that there was some underlying basis to his investigation?

Did he know of anything particularly with the Ukrainians? I think he has a lot of knowledge of Ukraine. He's been on the job for two years. And I think he knows about all the different players and would know if anything was untoward and anything that went on there.

And I think Volker would know the answer to those questions. And I think he knows that there's nothing there. There's absolutely nothing there. And this is like looking for little green men.

KEILAR: All right, Congressman Steve Cohen, thank you so much for being with us.

We have our breaking news continuing next. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stalls depositions of key State Department officials, is he taking a page out of the Trump playbook to defend himself?

Plus, Democratic candidates reveal their latest fund-raising hauls. So what do the numbers say about the 2020 race?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:20:46]

KEILAR: And we're following all of the breaking news, as the secretary of state clashes with top Democrats, who are demanding to question State Department officials about the Ukraine scandal.

Key House committee chairman are warning Mike Pompeo that his delaying tactics may be used as evidence of obstruction in the impeachment investigation.

And now we're learning that the State Department inspector general's asking for an urgent briefing on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

Let's bring in our analysts and our experts.

OK. First, let's talk about this State Department I.G., who's supposed to

be the independent watchdog of the State Department, requesting an urgent Hill briefing. This is a -- there's a lot of questions we have about this because we just found this out.

I mean, what do you want to know?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, according to Kylie's reporting, it's not just this urgent request for a meeting. It's that the way that the request was made was, according to her source, cryptically worded.

Could be related to what we saw this morning, which is Mike Pompeo saying in a tweet and a statement, no, no, no, we're not going to play ball. Perhaps people who work for him do want to play ball, because they think it's important, and, like the whistle-blower, they're trying to go through the proper channels, which is what an inspector just is.

KEILAR: And is that what would happen if there's someone who Mike Pompeo does not want testifying, but perhaps they do want to, that's the process they would go through like the whistle-blower and the I.C.?

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: That could be. That absolutely could be.

Look, it's also important to remember that Congress isn't there. So for the inspector general to think that it is so urgent that they're trying to get in touch with staff, and maybe some members who they can -- who he can reach out to on the phone or at least through staff, I mean, this is highly, highly unusual.

KEILAR: It is very unusual.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And just look at how many committees are going to be breached, the committee staff from House Foreign Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations, House and Senate Appropriations, House Oversight, Senate Homeland Security, Senate Intelligence.

Those are a lot of people.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And far broader than where the impeachment inquiry is.

GANGEL: Correct. Correct.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Although, weirdly, is not -- House Intelligence is not on that list.

CHALIAN: I think it is.

TOOBIN: Oh, it is on the list.

(CROSSTALK) KEILAR: It is on the list.

TOOBIN: Take it back.

KEILAR: All right, take it back. OK.

So, as we see the secretary of state trying to delay these depositions by these key Ukraine witnesses, we're still going -- we're still going to hear from -- or we're not, but Congress is still going to hear from Kurt Volker, the envoy, the former envoy to Ukraine who resigned and therefore is now able to testify.

I mean, he's going to provide some pretty interesting information.

TOOBIN: Well, you know, if we maybe remember Rudy Giuliani on FOX holding up his phone, saying, look, I got I got texts from Volker. Volker said it was great that I was working.

BASH: It's now on our phones too.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

TOOBIN: That's right, the official text.

That -- I don't think Volker could have been too happy about that, basically, Giuliani saying, look, this is the person who gave me permission.

He wants to explain, presumably, what his relationship was with Giuliani. The other thing that to know about Volker is that this is someone who is not a Trump person. He's not an Obama person. He is a highly respected diplomat who is not known as a political person.

And I think whatever he says, if he's allowed to speak, will have -- carry a lot of weight, because I think people in both parties trust him a lot.

KEILAR: He's really an American person, if you will.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: There are few of those left.

CHALIAN: The position at the McCain Institute may sort of explain the approach he takes to this.

I do think, in addition, he's going to be the first person we hear from not named Rudy Giuliani to actually explain from the State Department side about all of the contacts with Ukraine. He would know, right?

I mean, he would know what the State Department was working on and how the administration was contacting Ukraine. And I think that he wants to -- not just whatever Giuliani said about him and his texts, but I think he wants to set the record straight more broadly about the administration, the State Department's approach to Ukraine in its entirety.

KEILAR: Shawn, what do you think?

SHAWN TURNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Look, I think that, with regards to these depositions, these depositions have the potential to be extremely important to this.

[18:25:01]

And I say they have the potential to be, because, as I'm thinking about what Volker is going to say when he goes up there, and I think about the other four individuals who are mentioned in this whistle- blower complaint, it's -- in order to get meaningful and factual and clear information out of them, they're going to need to be questioned in a kind of dispassionate, objective and fair way.

And my concern at this point is that it's great that Volker is going up there. I think he's going to try to make a case to defend himself, as well as -- as well as the others.

But my real concern here is how important these are is going to really depend on how well the members of Congress do at questioning these individuals.

And, Brianna, I just want to make one point on...

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: And they have shown that they're challenged, Shawn, in that regard at times when we have seen...

BASH: In public.

KEILAR: In public, where you think that they would have spent time preparing.

TURNER: No. No, they are.

KEILAR: The questions have been lackluster.

TURNER: Yes, they absolutely have.

Look, they spend more time editorializing. And as Nancy Pelosi said, if this is not about politics, if this is just about this impeachment inquiry, then they need to not do that.

But on this -- on this inspector general over at the State Department, it's important to point out that this inspector general is unlike any other inspector general in government. This is one of the most independent and far removed inspector generals in all of government.

And so this is someone who doesn't deal with on a daily basis -- isn't inside the agency, and oftentimes doesn't have those same loyalties to the agency that others -- truly independent. So that's one of the reasons why this is really interesting, because

this is somebody who, for all intents and purposes, is outside of the agency.

KEILAR: David, you have Democrats who have looked at this transcript, the whistle-blower complaint, and they say this is the smoking gun.

So if they have the smoking gun, how much more do they need to sort of pad it with context to take this thing to the bank?

CHALIAN: I think the Democrats have a burden to bring the American people along with them on this journey.

I think that's sort of the political burden on them here. And so you can understand they don't want to just, we have the smoking gun, the next day impeach, and he's acquitted in the Senate, and it's done. I mean, they do want to build a case.

But I would just argue that you are right. And it's not just Democrats saying it. I mean, just -- we all read the rough transcript for ourselves, right? I mean, it's unlikely more damaging information is going to come out than the president's own words and what his White House put out in that transcript in this process.

And so, yes, context is key, but I do think it is why you saw Nancy Pelosi also say, to keep this narrowly focused, to do it on an expeditious -- an expedited schedule. It's because the thrust of what they're pursuing is already in the public domain.

KEILAR: All of you, stand by for me, because we have a whole lot more to discuss.

So, stick around. We're going to talk about Republicans who are at odds with President Trump.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:00]

KEILAR: We're back now with our analysts and a stunning new report just out from "The New York Times." I want to read part of what is in this report coming from Michael Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis at The Times. This is based at least partially on a meeting that was happening in the Oval Office. And, according to The Times, this article is based on interviews with more than a dozen White House and admin officials directly involved in the events of this week and March.

Here is what it says, key passage (ph), privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench stocked with snakes and alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified with spikes on top that would pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants when they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in the meeting, aides recalled he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That's not allowed either, they told him.

And at another point, he said, you are making me look like an idiot, to some of these aides, he shouted adding in a profanity, as multiple officials in the room described it, I ran on this, it's my issue. Dana?

BASH: He did run on it and it is his issue. And, first of all, we know Michael and Julie. They had been working on this book, a book that they have on immigration coming out soon for months and months and months, probably more than a year.

And we know from our own reporting on immigration for the past two years how irate the president has gotten at various points at his own staff, including, and maybe especially, his former Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, for, in his -- from his perspective, not pushing hard enough. Not just her but other aides, as described by this report.

One other quote in here that is certainly going to get a lot of buzz where he allegedly says to his Homeland Security secretary at the time, Kirstjen, you didn't hear me the first time, honey, Mr. Trump said, according to two people familiar with the conversation, shoot them down, sweetheart. Just shoot them out of the sky, okay?

KEILAR: These are human beings. These are human beings. He is not speaking about human beings as if they're --

BASH: Just to be clear, out of the sky, he was talking about drones.

KEILAR: Yes, okay, drones. I'm talking about the --

BASH: His desire to use drones at the border.

KEILAR: Drones, yes, and flesh-piercing spikes on electrified fences.

[18:35:01]

TOOBIN: And alligators and snakes.

I mean, you know, this is -- we have to decide. I mean, one of the issues about the Trump years is we have to decide really kind of country we are, I mean, because if you want to stop people like they are animals, maybe you do put alligators in.

But if you want to treat desperate people who are trying to get into the United States like human beings, you don't even consider insanity like this, much less separating them from their young children once they manage to get here.

GANGEL: This, I think, speaks to the kinds of conversations that, as Bob Woodward reported in his book, John Kelly said, you know, it was crazy town in there, when you hear these kinds of words. And also he snaps at his son-in-law in their reporting. He says to Jared Kushner, who had developed relationships with Mexican officials and sided with Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump said, quote, all you care about is your friends in Mexico. I've had it. I want it done the noon tomorrow.

KEILAR: And that's talking about a complete shutdown of the border. Shawn?

TURNER: Yes, Brianna. And as -- I wish that we could all be surprised by this, but you know there's another part of this that's to come, and that is that some time in the coming hours, there are going to be people who support the president who are going to come on the air on CNN, on other networks and they're going to say, this is just Trump being Trump. And they're going to say it's no big deal, they're going to try to dismiss it, they're going to say that we're getting worked up about nothing.

But the truth is that, as we all know, this president doesn't just say these things. You can tell by the tone and tenor of the story, and I know these reporters. He's serious when he suggests these things.

Look, I think I've said before, this is bad for the country because I think that we all, whether we're on the left or right, we want our president to be successful. We want him to do his job of protecting and leading this nation.

But at this point, when you see things like this, you recognize that this president has very little respect for human life, has very little respect for anyone who das does not fit into his definition of a Trump loyalist. So I find this appalling also in many levels. And I preemptively say shame on those people who are going to defend him after these remarks.

CHALIAN: I will just going to say that my first thought when I started reading through this was that this is a horrific treatment of human beings, the absurdly -- not just unpresidential behavior, but unhuman -- non-human behavior that we would want any of us to be associated with.

This is also somebody who is in a political corner that feels, it seems to me, so desperate that he is not going to be able to deliver on the core promise that he made in his first campaign to his supporters. It just seems to me so completely obsessed that the most outlandish rhetoric he can put to this, it strikes me as somebody who is very concerned that they're not able to tell their supporters that he delivered his promise.

KEILAR: But he didn't promise shooting migrants or flesh-spearing spikes and alligators. He promised a wall. This is different.

CHALIAN: That Mexico would pay for it.

KEILAR: That's right. But this is -- I mean, a wall that Mexico would pay for and what we're seeing here, these are different things.

BASH: It is. It is. This is a frustrated, angry president, angry about what David has articulated, that he has not been able to deliver on a major political promise. Yes, he didn't promise all of these things but this is him lashing out in a way that we know that he has done time and time again, in ways that make his aides incredibly -- and cabinet level officials incredibly uncomfortable.

GANGEL: Just to connect it back to the Ukraine call and what we're dealing with, other than Kevin McCarthy on 60 minutes and Lindsey Graham last night, there have been very few Republicans out there in the last 24 hours defending him. This is not going to help.

KEILAR: Thank you, guys, so much.

And just ahead, we're going to break down a verdict as a white former police officer is found guilty of murdering an unarmed black man in his own apartment. The jurors ignore the defendant's claim that she thought she was in her apartment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00]

KEILAR: Tonight, a former police officer could face life in prison after being found guilty of murdering a neighbor in his own apartment. CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Dallas covering this trial. And, Ed, the former officer claimed it was all a mistake because she thought she was in her apartment on a different floor of the building, not the victim's.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the jury did not buy that argument. Amber Guyger walked into this Dallas courthouse a free woman earlier today. But tonight, she spends her first night in jail. She was booked just a short while ago into jail for the first time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: Tonight, the former Dallas police officer who shot an unarmed neighbor in his own apartment is convicted of murder and now faces up to life in prison.

[18:45:00]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, unanimously find the defendant, Amber Guyger, guilty.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The mother of the victim emotionally raised her hands as the verdict was read. Loud cheers after the judge delivered the news. Prosecutors pushed for the maximum conviction.

JASON HERMUS, PROSECUTOR: By God, in Dallas County, Texas, there will be a consequence for you walking in and shooting an unarmed, defenseless man.

LAVANDERA: Amber Guyger's lawyer says the shooting was an accident. She was off duty for the night and entered the wrong apartment by mistake, the one directly above her own. Botham Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, was alone in that apartment

when Guyger barged in and fired two shots, allegedly fearing for her life.

AMBER GUYGER, FORMER DALLAS POLICE OFFICER: Whenever I fully opened the door, it was -- I saw this silhouette figure standing in the back of the apartment by the window.

LAVANDERA: Guyger testified she heard loud shuffling inside the apartment she thought was her own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you fire?

GUYGER: I was scared. I was scared that this person inside my apartment was going to hurt me.

LAVANDERA: The prosecutors hammered Guyger for seeming more concerned about her own well-being than the victim's, that she didn't do everything she could do to help him, never opening the first aid supplies in her backpack. Prosecutors also questioned why Guyger didn't just call for backup instead of using her weapon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could have called for help on your radio, and you could have had the cavalry there in two minutes.

GUYGER: I could have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And had you done any of those things, Mr. Jean would probably be alive today. Right?

GUYGER: Yes, sir.

LAVANDERA: The verdict is reigniting the debate over police violence and use of legal force.

DARYL WASHINGTON, LAWYER FOR BOTHAM JEAN'S FAMILY: It's a signal that the tide is going to change here. Police officers are going to begin to be held accountable for their actions.

DEMONSTRATORS: Black lives matter! Black lives matter!

LAVANDERA: And energizing the Black Lives Matter movement.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, LAYWER FOR BOTHAM JEAN'S FAMILY: This verdict is for Trayvon Martin. It's for Michael Brown. It's for Sandra Bland. It's for Tamir Rice.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: The sentencing phase started this afternoon. Botham Jean's mother testified before the jury. It continues tomorrow. We expect to hear perhaps from Amber Guyger herself. She faces anywhere between five years and life in prison -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Ed Lavandera, thank you.

And just ahead, new numbers in the Democratic presidential money race will tell you how Bernie Sanders is leading the pack tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:52:23]

KEILAR: In the Democratic presidential race, new fundraising numbers are out tonight, and so far, Bernie Sanders is leading the pack.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is here to look at all of this and this was really Bernie Sanders' strongest fundraising quarter yet.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty remarkable, Brianna, especially because Bernie Sanders has already raised quite a bit of money up until this point. But this was the strongest quarter, the third quarter, raising $25.3 million. He has more than a million individual contributors and Sanders is already putting this money to work.

They announced today that they're going to launch their first ad in the battleground state of Iowa, the first caucus state, $1.3 million buy in Iowa. And, Brianna, we know that within the campaign, there's been some angst that Sanders is not already on the air in Iowa, and that this was something that internally they were really pushing him and his campaign to do.

So, there's going to be a lot of people hoping that these TV ads would lead to him making some progress in Iowa because right now, he's trailing both Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.

KEILAR: What about Senator Kamala Harris because we've seen her dip in the polls, but her fund-raising numbers seem consistent?

NOBLES: Yes, she stays consistent in the third quarter. She's now at $11.3 million and she raised $11.6 million in the second quarter -- I'm sorry, $11.6 million this quarter and $11.8 million in the second quarter and was $12 million to start the campaign.

Harris' team believes that this is a really good number for her. It's obviously going to be much below what Bernie Sanders raises and what some others have raised, but they say, considering the fact that she's been down in the polls, they feel as though she's gotten some negative media attention and she's been able to kind of coalesce that donor base. They feel that that puts her in a stronger position and she's going to have the financial resources that she needs to at least make their argument in Iowa and they're dedicating most of their resources there.

KEILAR: Really quick. Biden, Warren numbers when?

NOBLES: At least by the 15th.

KEILAR: OK.

NOBLES: For sure, they could come any day and those numbers are going to be crucial.

KEILAR: All right. Ryan Nobles, thank you so much.

We have more news ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:58:47]

KEILAR: It's been one month since Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, killing at least 56 people. More than 600 others still missing and for many survivors, the pain and suffering -- it's just now sinking in.

Survivors like Howard Armstrong who first spoke to CNN after he'd been rescued, he had watched his wife Lynn (ph) die in front of him, desperately and failing trying to save her. Our team just tracked him down and showed us what his house looks like now. It's a wasteland, littered with memories of all that he had and all that he lost.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD ARMSTRONG, WIFE KILLED DURING HURRICANE DORIAN: I've had these thoughts in the night. One night, I was up and I couldn't even turn the lights out and then I'd close my eyes. I said, well, why didn't I just go with her and I wouldn't have to worry about any of this or any damn thing.

REPORTER: We're glad you're here, though.

ARMSTRONG: Well, I know, but what's going to happen now because what am I going to do now, you know? I mean, yes, life goes on, but this is the life I lived, and I'll never get to do this again in my time, and you know, my wife's gone, my partner, my love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Thirty days after Dorian, more aid is finally arriving. Power and water are slowly being restored.

I'm Brianna Keilar.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.