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Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Confirms He Was On The Trump- Ukraine Call; Adam Schiff: White House Attempts To "Stonewall" Investigation Will Be Considered Evidence Of Obstruction; Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff Warn Against Obstructing The Impeachment Inquiry; Senator Bernie Sanders Hospitalized, Had Two Stents Inserted In Artery; Trump Repeats Attacks On Adam Schiff, Calls For Him To Resign. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired October 2, 2019 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIEWD FEMALE: It was at the airport as part of a Wings of Freedom tour which is an experience that allows people, civilians - purchase experiences onboard these Air Crafts. Obviously - to this fight, we'll find out what prompted this and the status of those who were injured.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Absolutely, just look at the response though, they obviously they took it very seriously and acted swiftly and much more on this. Alex is going to be following these developments. And as you can tell much more developments throughout the Day and including President Trump will be speaking in a press conference this afternoon. Thanks for joining us, everybody. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King, starts right now.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Thank you, Kate and welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thank you for sharing this busy news day with us. Bernie Sanders has two stents inserted to treat an artery blockage. The Democratic Presidential candidate cancels campaign events until further notice but aides say he is in good spirits.
Meantime, the stock market is getting slammed today over fears the President's trade war now causing a U.S. manufacturing slump and high impeachment drama today on Capitol Hill, new subpoenas from Democrats, an urgent request from the State Department watchdog and tough words from the Speaker of the House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): This President of the United States is stooping to a level that is beneath the dignity of the constitution of the United States and our founders. Since the Chairman mentioned our founders, they put guardrails in the constitution because they knew there might be someone who would overplay his or her power.
They never thought that we would have a President who would kick those guardrails over and disregard the constitution and say Article II says that I can do whatever I feel like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: A busy hour ahead. We begin on Capitol Hill with a show of force from the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. You saw right there the Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff standing firm in the Democratic Party's face off now with the President of the United States. First and foremost at the moment, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo accuses Democrats of bullying potential witnesses from the State Department about the President's July call with Ukraine, Pelosi and Schiff issuing a warning to both Pompeo and the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: We do place ourselves in a time of urgency on the threat to the constitution, a system of checks and balances. We see the actions of this President being an assault on the constitution.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE (D): The White House needs to understand that any action like that that forces us to litigate or have to consider litigation will be considered further evidence of obstruction of justice. We're not fooling around here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Those comments coming shortly after a group of Democratic Chairmen announced, they are drafting a subpoena demanding the White House hand over key documents about the phone call with the Ukrainian President. It's the latest shot across the bow after the Chairman said yesterday said Pompeo should "Immediately see intimidating department witnesses" pointing out that Pompeo himself is central to all of this could have a conflict they say.
The Secretary confirming that today saying, yes, he was on that call, but he insists it was completely routine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: As for was I on the phone call, I was on the phone call. I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine. It's what our team including Ambassador Volker were focused on, was taking down the threat that Russia poses there in Ukraine.
It was about helping the Ukrainians to get graft out and corruption outside of their government and to help now this new government and the Ukraine build a successful thriving economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We'll come back to that a bit later. Also today among the many moving parts, the Inspector General of the State Department requesting an urgent briefing with a group of bipartisan staffers from several key committees investigating the President's Ukraine policy, for more on that let's go straight to our own Kylie Atwood and Manu Raju. Kylie, I want to start with you. This is a mystery witness the Inspector General out of the blue telling these Congressional Committees I need to come see you. A, it's unusual. What do we know about it?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, that was right John. It was an urgent request coming in just yesterday from the State Department Inspector General to these Committees on the Hill saying that they needed to have a discussion as soon as possible. It will be happening later today, but we really don't know what the Inspector General is going to focus this discussion on?
Now, one aide described the request to me as cryptically worded yesterday and highly unusual. We do know, however, that the Inspector General received information from the Legal Advisor at the State Department, which prompted this request to have a discussion with the Committee members, with the Committee aides on the Hill today.
Now, it did come, however, after Secretary Pompeo had sent a letter to the Hill saying that the State Department was not going to comply with the exact timeline that Congress had requested for those depositions from those five current and Former State Department officials. He also said that Congress was bullying and intimidating State Department officials.
Now we have finger pointing happening, members on the Hill, the House Intel Chairman, as you said, is saying that actually Pompeo is the one who is intimidating folks at the State Department. And just earlier today he said that those efforts are deeply concerning. So we could have information with regard to the charges from the State Department, from Pompeo or from the Hill. But we are really waiting to see what happens later this afternoon in that briefing.
KING: We don't know much, but we do know he says he wants to talk to them consistent with the requirements of the Inspector General Act. If you read the act, the only requirement for the Inspector General to go up to Capitol Hill is when he or she sees a problem. That's what you will see in the act. Kylie Atwood, will keep on top of this reporting. Appreciate it.
Manu, what have we learned today, tough words from both the Speaker and Chairman Schiff. Tough words, how do they advance where we are going here with the inquiry?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're making it very clear this is not going to drag out. What we've seen throughout this Congress is that Democrats have sent subpoenas and letters to the Trump Administration asking for requests, asking for documents, demanding it.
But the administration has resisted time and again. They've ended up in court. They're fighting to get the Former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. That's been tied up for months. Well, Adam Schiff made it clear just moments ago that they're not going to let this drag on.
He said that if the White House does not comply with the subpoena that is expected to go out Friday for instance, demanding documents relating to the Ukraine matter and other subpoenas are not complied with such as Rudy Giuliani providing documents to the House Intelligence Committee or the State Department providing documents to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that that would be viewed as obstruction of Congress which was cited in the Nixon articles of impeachment.
That's what Schiff made it very clear and I've been hearing that for several days from Democrats saying that they do not want to get in the same pattern where they get back and forth, letter writing, leading to litigation and things get wrapped up in court where they don't see an end in sight.
Schiff is making it clear that there will be an ending site and if there is not compliance though use it as evidence of obstruction and move forward on impeachment. So the Democratic leaders are making it very clear today, they want to move quickly on this investigation. They're going to try to get as many interviews as they can from depositions from former and current state officials to begin with the current Inspector General of the Intelligence Committee among others.
The question is if they don't get compliance in other regards, do they eventually just pull the plug and decide to move forward with articles of impeachment. It sounds like that's exactly where they're going. So we'll see how this turns out here in just a matter of weeks here John.
KING: Sounded very much like they were going there as fast as they believe they can responsibly do so. Manu Raju, appreciate that on the Hill. With me in the studio to share the reporting and their insights Seung Min Kim with "The Washington Post" Olivier Knox with SiriusXM Vivian Salama with "The Wall Street Journal" and Asma Khalid with NPR.
There's a lot to talk about. There is important substance, the witnesses who are coming up, the fights over additional witnesses, the threats for subpoenas. Beneath that you have the politics and the rhetoric fascinating how tough the Speaker's words today? She came to send a message to the President of the United States and he was watching and live tweeting as it goes.
I want to start with one of those, because there is no one who gets under his skin like her. We've seen that consistently throughout the presidency. She knows it. She knows it. When she talks tough, she's expecting a response. Here's one of the President's - forgive my language here, it's the Nunara (ph) in the East, it's earlier in the West.
Among the tweets the President said to do-nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our country not wasting everyone's time and energy on I'm going to say "BS" the President spelled it out on all caps, the president of the United States using that word in all caps which they have been ever since I got elected. 223306 Get a better candidate. This time you'll need it. Some of these tweets are shoving back. In all of these tweets you see an effort by the President to play the Republican card. He is trying to keep his base from wavering here, to get everybody before we get deep into the facts, before we know more about what happened to already be locked into your corner. It's his strategy so that he doesn't lose anybody.
VIVIAN SALAMA, WHIT HOUSE REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, interestingly one of the other tweets that came out was him talking about this impeachment nonsense in his words actually driving the stock market and your 401(k)'s down. This is essentially what's happening it's all playing out sort of in the absence of a war room which we knew the White House was considering having at one point when this first broke last week.
But it never came to fruition and so President Trump is actually now kind of controlling his own message and he is going straight to his voters and saying they're making this up and they're impacting you by stalling on all of my policies, by driving the stock market down. This is something that he has chosen to do sort of as a Republican messenger for the party instead of just doing it to protect himself.
KING: And it's another thing he's doing that is misleading to be kind in the sense that if you talk to traders today, we'll talk about this later in the program. The markets are down today because there was a report yesterday about manufacturing, a slump in American manufacturing that the President wants to blame the fed for normally.
Today he'll blame the impeachment inquiry for but it's directly tied to the President's trade policies which President believes he is right here but that's the source of it. Whatever your views, that's the source of it, not impeachment.
I want to come back now - we'll come back to the politics of this a little bit later. Kurt Volker is going to testify. He left the government, he was the special envoy. He is going to testify. That's one witness. The Former Ukrainian Ambassador who was recalled asked for a delay, but says she is coming back next week.
KING: These are the people who can fill in the building blocks of what was Rudy Giuliani up to, how deeply involved was this State Department? About how much of this was really about American foreign policy and how much was about the President's obsession with trying to get dirt on Joe Biden?
Those are the critical building blocks for the Democrats. And important to focus on as we have this war of words back and forth.
SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WSHINGTON POST: Exactly. And I think what's important to remember to is that the administration with those key witnesses doesn't have absolute control over this right now because the agreements from Volker and the Former Ambassador of Ukraine came after Pompeo said you're intimidating our department, we're not going to stand for this. These are good people to State Department, but yet these former officials agreed to speak to Congress after Pompeo had made that statement. I would also not underestimate what the IG is doing here too? Because as we know, the Inspector General has a lot of independence, has a lot of leeway.
And what they tell Congress later today will be really important to watch. They don't need permission from Pompeo to sign off on what kind of information they can give to Congress. That's really important to remember.
KING: And as you jump again, it's very important because remember, we learned about the whistleblower complaint because the Trump appointed Intelligence Community Inspector General went around his boss because he thought his boss was ignoring the law and not telling Congress about something that the law requires them to tell Congress about.
Now you have the State Department Inspector General in this case an Obama appointee who's a holdover but I read the act several times today. I consulted with a number of lawyers. When you look at requirements for the IG to report to Congress, they're required to send a semiannual report that's not what this is about. And they're required when there's a fire alarm to be pulled.
That's the only other requirement in the law. We don't know what this is about but his invitation says consistent with the requirements of the Inspector General Act. The Inspector General does not go up to Capitol Hill to have tea and cookies.
OLIVIER KNOX, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, SIRIUSXM: Tow things. One is that in August he put out a really blistering report accusing specific State Department appointees of the Trump Administration of bullying, intimidating and otherwise harassing career diplomats.
So we know that there is a - he could pull on that thread if he wanted to. The other thing I would say is he is holdover adjacent. He's not actually an Obama holdover. He was held over by Obama from the Bush Administration from another role. So this is not someone who can easily be slotted into the, oh, he is a holdover, he is disloyal et cetera. He actually has a long career. He is widely respected by people on both parties.
KING: He's a professional watchdog which the government desperately needs.
KNOX: And thank goodness for Inspector General in general - internal affairs of the government. But in this case there are a couple of interesting that you could pull on. I would just say also Kurt Volker, interesting figure, Bush National Security Council Staffer, someone I would characterize was a foreign policy professional.
Never signed onto the never Trump letters but was not exactly a vocal supporter of the President. I'm really eager to hear what he has to say, slotting together all the issues involving Eastern Europe and the relationship with Russia. KING: It's fascinating as we go forward. When we come back, this throughout the hour, but when we come back the 2020 news. Senator Bernie Sanders hospitalized. What it means for his presidential campaign? We'll have the latest in a moment.
KING: Major news now on the 2020 campaign front. Senator Bernie Sanders taking an indefinite break from the campaign trail after being hospitalized overnight. The 78-year-old Presidential Candidate Vermont Senator found to have a blockage in one artery of his heart. He had two stents inserted.
The Senior Advisor put out a statement today saying, that the Senator is "Conversing and in good spirits. He will be rushing up over the next few days. We are cancelling his events and appearances until further notice and we will continue to provide appropriate updates".
Our Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN's Ryan Noble, who has been covering the Senator's campaign, join us. Dr. Gupta, I just want to start with you. Walk us through here how serious is this and what is the normal recovery timeline?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There's no question there's a degree of seriousness about this. What sounds like happened, Senator had some discomfort. How long he's been having that discomfort? We don't know, but certainly it was serious enough that he decided to go to the hospital.
What they typically do at that point is inject some dye into the blood vessels that lead to his heart to try and see if there are blockages? In this case, it sounds like they found one that is significant enough to put in a stent to open up that blockage. Most people know what that means, is basically you're putting in a looks like a balloon sort of holding open the blood vessel and then putting in a cage to keep that blood vessel open.
We know he had a second stent placed as well. We don't know if that was another blood vessel or the same blood vessel? Nevertheless, what likely happens at that point is the Senator starts to feel better. When you're not getting enough blood flow to a muscle, it hurts. When you open up that blood flow, it starts to feel better and that can happen pretty quickly.
He's up, he's talking now. He probably needs to be on blood thinners for a period of time. But the recovery, typically they say 7-10 days. John, you know better than anybody, candidates they are different than most human beings. Maybe shorten that by half, 4-7 days instead of 7- 10 days would be a reasonable recovery time.
KING: And before, I let you go to Sanjay, to that point, campaigns, candidates not only is he aggressive, not only does he want to get back out there on the campaign trail, not only is he a very vigorous campaigner. He travels all the time constantly. You're talking about 18-20 hour days. You're talking about airplanes and bus rides.
KING: What does the doctor going to say to somebody who says when I leave here once you tell me I'm good to go? I'm really going.
GUPTA: I think one of the things to keep in mind is the reason these procedures are done is to get someone back to their way of life. It's to make them feel better, it's to ultimately lengthen their life hopefully but really it's to get them back to their life. So that is part of the game.
The only thing I would say is that the recovery, this is not open heart surgery. You know, people have referred to this as heart stent surgery. That's really not the right way to think about it. At no point did he actually have an operation. So the recovery from that part of it should be pretty quick.
He's likely to be on blood thinners medications of thinner blood for a period of time. That shouldn't prevent him from doing any of the things you just mentioned, John. But it's something they're going to have to be more mindful of certainly. Even little cuts can turn into something more serious.
That are the things they're going to be mindful of. It's not to say that he'll need to be on it the rest of his life necessarily but that's going to be one of the considerations I think going forward.
KING: Grateful for your insights. Sanjay, I know you juggled your schedule to be with us. I really appreciate it at this important day. Ryan Noble to you now, what is the campaign saying? How much do we know about what happened and what do they expect in terms of the pause, the impact on the campaign?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WSHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: At this point John, they're being pretty tight lipped about how long it's going to be before Senator Sanders can get back on the campaign trail. But what we know was basically how his day played out yesterday? He arrived in Las Vegas at around 5:30 local time. He went to visit the memorial for the victims of the mass shooting that took place there.
And then he had a fund-raiser at 7:30 Las Vegas time last night and everything seem to be a pretty much normal. It was at that event where he started to have those chest pains. Normally at the end of an event like this, he'd hold a "selfie line" or a "picture line" which is kind of become standard operating procedure in the 2020 campaign.
In this time around they just didn't do that. That's when he ended up talking to his aides saying that he didn't feel well and he eventually went to the hospital and had that procedure taken place. I think the important thing to point out here John, is that his campaign to great fanfare yesterday announced a $1.3 million ad buy that was set to start tomorrow in Iowa.
They have put that ad buy on hold. His campaign has told me today that is just a postponement as they evaluate the situation. I think it's fair to say here John this is going to be at least a 24-48 hour period of reflection for Bernie Sanders and his campaign as they decide what the next step is for the candidate and whether or not he'll be able to get back out on the campaign trail soon. John.
KING: Appreciate that report Ryan. We certainly wish Senator Sanders the best as he recovers here and we'll continue to track the political part of it as we go around. I appreciate it. Up next, we go live to the White House and talk to our panel.
The President is in the Oval Office right now meeting with his finish counterpart. He's talking about a lot of domestic news including attacking the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Stay with us.
KING: The president's in the Oval Office with his Finnish counterpart speaking to reporters. We're getting notes from that conversation and there are a number of impeachment inquiry related attacks including on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and on anyone the President calls them spies who spoke to the whistleblower whose complaint is central to this.
Let's get straight to CNN's Kaitlan Collins who is live for us outside the White House. Kaitlan, what are we learning?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we're seeing the President once again go after the House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff after he appeared at that weekly press conference with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier talking about the stonewalling happening from the State Department they say.
And the President is now comparing Schiff to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He once again called for Schiff to resign, accused him of treason and said that he couldn't carry Mike Pompeo's and he self censored himself and said blank strap there in the Oval Office talking about the Secretary of State and how he was first in class it was point something that President has repeatedly touted.
Essentially implying that Adam Schiff went after the Secretary of State during that press conference earlier when he was saying if the State Department doesn't make those officials available for depositions they are going to consider to be obstruction coming from the administration.
But that's not all John the President is also talking about this whistleblower. He's being asked by reporters about Republicans like you saw Chuck Grassley yesterday saying that this whistleblower should be heard out and protected. The President said he believes the whistleblowers should be protected but only if in his view if they are legitimate.
He was once again insisting that his call with the President of Ukraine was perfect, going on at length about it. And John, what we're seeing from the President and what we're getting from this appearance in the Oval Office with the Finnish President is that President Trump seems to be in a combative mood.
He seems to be more than usual and this comes as we've been reporting that. Essentially people don't think that the President was taking impeachment enough seriously but now he seems to be getting agitated by it. And you could see just as much from his Twitter feed earlier just moments before the Finnish President was set to arrive here at the White House.
And the President tweeted that"Do-nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our country. He said, not wasting everyone's time and energy on all caps "BULLSHIT", which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306", an incorrect number we should note.
President said "Get a better candidate this time. You'll need it". What you are seeing there is quoting the President on his own Twitter feed is really John, an insight into what people are telling us behind the scenes? Just how frustrated the President is?