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Seething Trump Accuses Rep. Schiff Of Treason, Denounces Impeachment Inquiry As "Bullshit"; House Dems To Issue Subpoenas To White House For Documents; State Department Inspector General Briefs Lawmakers As Secretary Of State Stalls Letting Officials Talk To Congress; House Intel Confirms Whistleblower Sought Guidance From Committee Aide, Denies Rep. Schiff Saw Complaint In Advance; Ex- Policewoman Sentenced To 10 Years In Murder Case; North Korea Confirms Test-Fire Of A New Type Of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired October 2, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news. Accusations and anger. A seething President Trump unleashing a torrent of attacks during a White House news conference and making extraordinary and unfounded allegations against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Joe Biden and his son, the whistleblower and the impeachment inquiry looming over his presidency.
Early guidance. The House Intelligence Committee confirms that the whistleblower contacted one of the panel's aides for advice on how to file the complaint. But a spokesman denies Chairman Adam Schiff saw it in advance even as President Trump accuses Schiff of writing it.
Mystery envelope. The State Department Inspector General comes to Congress for what he deems an urgent briefing presenting staffers with a mysterious envelope filled with what one congressman calls conspiracy theories delivered to the Secretary of State. Tonight, questions about who sent it and why the Inspector General thought Congress needed to know about it.
And brazen missile launch. North Korea tests a medium-range missile designed to be launch from a submarine just days before talks with the U.S. are scheduled to resume. Tonight, why this missile is raising new concerns about the safety of tens of thousands of U.S. troops.
We want to welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. And you're in "The Situation Room".
The breaking news this hour. Fast-moving developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump including an angry White House news conference by the President. He went on a tirade against the impeachment inquiry, Congressman Adam Schiff who is driving it and the whistleblower whose complaint launched it. Without any evidence the President accused Schiff who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee of writing the complaint. Schiff's office has confirmed that the whistleblower sought guidance from a committee aide on filing of the complaint but denies Schiff saw it in advance.
And up on Capitol Hill, what was deemed an urgent closed-door briefing by law -- to lawmakers by the State Department's Inspector General has just finished. We're learning new information about the Ukraine- related documents he revealed.
We'll talk about all of the breaking news with two key lawmakers in the impeachment inquiry, Congressman Jamie Raskin, he was in the briefing with the State Department Inspector General and Congressman Andre Carson of the Intelligence Committee. And our correspondents and analysts are also standing by.
First, let's go straight to the White House scene of the truly extraordinary off the rails news conference by President Trump just a little while ago. Our Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta is on the scene for us.
Jim, the President is clearly infuriated by this impeachment probe.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it look like a meltdown in realtime as President Trump angrily denied any wrongdoing during his phone call with the Ukraine's President. The President went after the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accusing him without evidence of helping write the whistleblower complaint. But the press conference then went off the rails when the President was asked why he was talking about Joe Biden with the President of Ukraine.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Sounding like a man backed into the corner, the President railed against the whistleblower whose complaint about Mr. Trump's phone call with the leader of Ukraine sparked the impeachment inquiry.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if you look at this whistleblower's -- which I have a lot of respect for whistleblowers but only when they're real. His report of the phone call was totally different than the fact.
ACOSTA: The President seized on a report in "The New York Times" the whistleblower sought guidance from the House Intelligence Committee on how to file a complaint. Mr. Trump then accused the Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of helping write the complaint. A charge he leveled with zero evidence.
TRUMP: Well I think it's a scandal that he knew before. I go a step further. I think he probably helped write it, OK? That's what the word is. And I think it's -- I give a lot of respect for the "New York Times" for putting it out. ACOSTA: The President then defended his call for Schiff to be investigated for treason. Still fuming days after the chairman mocked Mr. Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian leader.
TRUMP: Because of the fact that he's lying about the President of the United States and as to what the president says. You know what, believe it or not I watch my words very carefully. There are those that think I'm a very stable genius, OK? I watch my words very, very closely. And to have somebody get up and to totally fabricate a conversation that I had with another leader and make it sound so bad, it was so evil.
ACOSTA: When asked why he raised the issue of former Vice President Joe Biden during the call, Mr. Trump then misstated what happened insisting it was the Ukrainian President who first brought it up, but that's not true. It is the president who did that.
TRUMP: If you look at what he said. OK. And he brought it up. I think he brought up the name Rudy Giuliani. What I want is the following and I've said this loud and clear, we have our ambassadors here, we have Mike Pence here, why are we the only ones that give the big money to the Ukraine?
ACOSTA: The President was then pressed by other reporters in the room about Biden.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you want about Biden? What did you want to look into on Biden?
TRUMP: Look, Biden and his son are stone cold crooked and you know it. His son walks out with millions of dollars. The kid knows nothing.
ACOSTA: At that point the President was blowing his top. Blasting Reuters Reporter Jeff Mason for his question.
TRUMP: Are you talking to me?
JEFF MASON, REUTERS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It was just a follow up of what I just asked you, sir.
TRUMP: Listen, listen, are you ready? We have the President of Finland. Ask him a question.
MASON: I have one for him. I just wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you.
TRUMP: Did you hear me? Did you hear me?
MASON: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: Ask him a question.
MASON: I will. But -- TRUMP: I've given you a long answer. Ask this gentleman a question.
Don't be rude.
MASON: No sir, I don't want to be rude. I just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that I asked you.
TRUMP: I've answered everything. It's a whole hoax. And you know who is playing into the hoax? People like you and the fake news media that we have in this country. And I say in many cases, the corrupt media because you're corrupt. Much of the media in this country is not just fake, it's corrupt.
ACOSTA: The President revealed his call with the Ukrainian President as a part of his ongoing effort to prove that he was wrong during the 2016 campaign, an effort that may include bringing lawsuits against federal investigators on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team.
TRUMP: And just so you know, we've been investigating on a personal basis through Rudy and others, lawyers, corruption in the 2016 election. We've been investigating corruption because I probably will, I was going to definitely, but I probably will be bringing a lot of litigation against a lot of people having to do with the corrupt investigation, having to do with the 2016 election.
ACOSTA: Mr. Trump's tantrum was also playing out earlier in the day in a social media bunker as he tweeted, "The do nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our country not wasting everyone's time and energy on bullshit."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Democrats are pushing forward with their probe.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: It's unworthy of the constitution of the United States to do what he did in that call. And he admitted to me, he said it's perfect. No, it's not perfect. It's wrong.
ACOSTA: The President suggested the White House will cooperate with the subpoenas issued by House Democrats for information in the Ukraine investigation. But the President hasn't fully cooperated in the past. Consider the Russia investigation, recall, he never sat down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and he's never given up his tax returns.
Those have been asked multiple times. And we should note the whistleblower's attorney says no one from the House Intelligence Committee helped in writing that complaint. Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jim, thank you. Jim Acosta at the White House.
Let's go to Capitol Hill right now. Our Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju is on the scene there for us. And Manu, that closed-door briefing by the State Department Inspector General, I take it, has just wrapped up. What are you learning? MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, after the Inspector General said this was an urgent briefing and convened several key committees, a lot of members -- the member who attended, as well as the staffers who emerged end up scratching their heads after hearing exactly what the Inspector General found which was a 40- page, roughly 40-page document full of what one lawmaker, Jamie Raskin, calls conspiracy theories about the Ukraine matter, about Joe Biden, and also targeting the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her post in May of 2019.
Now, the question is, what are -- who is pushing this document. The State Department confirmed that it provided the Inspector General with this document that was labeled from the White House. Of course, it was not clear if this was actually written by someone at the White House or if this person had any connection to it.
But the Inspector General had no idea according to Jamie Raskin who wrote this document, what was the motivation behind it, why they were peddling this information, but it sounds according to the people that we spoke to, the same kind of conspiracy theories that have been pushed about the whole Ukraine matter over the last several weeks.
Nevertheless the questions are emerging from this briefing why the Inspector General felt it was necessary to call this urgent briefing of members in the middle of this impeachment inquiry. One reason why perhaps is the same -- former ambassador to Ukraine will be coming behind closed doors to meeting next week with the key House committees.
This could be a one area of questioning that some of these members plan to ask next week when she does sit down for her closed door testimony. But nevertheless, this is only raising more questions than answers from people who sat down and are hearing about these documents that were obtained by the Inspector General, Wolf.
BLITZER: Manu, at the same time, House -- other House committees are moving forward issuing subpoenas to the White House. Give us the latest on that front.
RAJU: Yes, that's right. They are actually threatening to issue a subpoena by Friday if they do not get a compliance with their documents or not getting any indication that the White House will actually provide information related to Ukraine. These committees had asked them in multiple occasions to turn over these Ukraine-related communications, what they know about efforts to urge the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden, what they know about the Rudy Giuliani's efforts in that country.
The White House Counsel's Office has now provided this information. Now the committee is planning to move forward with a subpoena as soon as Friday if they do not get compliance. Now, this comes, Wolf, as this impeachment probe is rapidly escalating. The State Department was hit with a subpoena last week. Rudy Giuliani himself was hit with a subpoena earlier this week. And now in a matter of days the White House will soon be hit with a
subpoena and expect more, I'm told, as the Democrats are demanding answers and if they don't get it, they say this will be evidence of what they view as obstruction of Congress. Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, lots going on. Manu Raju up on Capitol Hill. Thank you.
Let's get some more on all of this. The Democratic Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana is joining us. He's a member of the Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, thank you so much for joining us. And let's start with your fellow Democrats --
REP. ANDRE CARSON, (D-IN): Thank you.
BLITZER: -- who were accusing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of shielding officials at the State Department from depositions, from testimony. Can your committee get the information you're looking for without Secretary Pompeo's cooperation?
CARSON: I think so. I think, you know, Secretary Pompeo, I've traveled with him. I served with him on the Intelligence Committee. He is someone who I believe in my heart is a patriot. However, I do think that he is being misled right now and he's proven himself to be a bit naive with regards to President Trump. I think if he is a true patriot he should be concerned about the preservation of our republic, Wolf, and he is not doing it right now.
BLITZER: Despite the pressure from Secretary Pompeo, President Trump's former special envoy to Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, is moving ahead with his deposition, I take it tomorrow. What are you expecting Volker to say?
CARSON: It's hard to say. At this point I hope that he will be forthcoming, I hope that he will be truthful and I hope that he will give those questioners and investigators the tools that they need to get to the bottom of this very pressing matter.
BLITZER: You sit on the Intelligence Committee, your Chairman Adam Schiff's office has confirmed reports that the whistleblower did contact your committee for some guidance before filing the formal whistleblower complaint. President Trump, you just heard, suggested Chairman Schiff wrote this whistleblower complaint himself, which an attorney for the whistleblower by the way totally denies. What is your response to that accusation from the President?
CARSON: Chairman Schiff is a very skilled attorney. He's a very brilliant man. He takes his oath very seriously, as do the rest of us. He would never do such a thing. I think this is a part of the gaslighting and misdirection that Trump is doing right now. We have a lot on the table, Wolf.
President Trump, we saw the meltdown earlier at his press conference. It would be best -- even Trump's ardent supporters would love to hear him talk more about infrastructure, our national security without demonizing immigrants and Muslims, talk about education, talk about real issues but he's so easily distracted because he's trying to cut deals, he's taken on this persona of a mobster. Not a president.
And so the meltdown that we saw was someone who is incapable of being a true leader, it's one thing to be reality show star but it's another thing to be President of the United States. And so my hope is that President Trump and his administration will cooperate with the committee. If not, more subpoenas will be issued.
BLITZER: Are you confident your committee and the whistleblower followed all of the proper procedures, the legal procedures in producing the complaint?
CARSON: I am. Look, it is not illegal and it wasn't illegal for the whistleblower to reach out directly to the committee. It's within that person's right to do so. I think what we have to do is to make sure we secure the pipeline of communication between whistleblowers and our committee. It's very important.
You know, this person is really -- has really put themselves out for scrutiny, they've jeopardized -- they could possibly jeopardize their livelihood and the security of their family. And so we have to do all that we can as a committee and as a Congress to protect this person going forward.
BLITZER: The Justice Department has ordered the White House to preserve all presidential records including notes from meetings and phone conversations the President has had with foreign leaders. Do you trust the White House to follow those orders?
CARSON: At this point, Wolf, I don't. Unfortunately, I don't think that the White House has proven itself. At least most of them of being capable of really protecting our democracy. I think they're more concerned about protecting their jobs and not upsetting President Trump. President Trump needs more people around him who can be honest with him, who can say, sir, you should cooperate here.
They shouldn't pat him on the back for his outrageousness. They shouldn't encourage his tyrannical behavior. He really needs to think seriously about his future as President going forward because right now America is not great, America has become the laughing stock of the global community.
BLITZER: Serious statement indeed. The President, he's been attacking various lawmakers this week as this scandal has clearly picked up steam. He's calling your Chairman Adam Schiff a low life and a sick man. He called Democrats like Chairman Chief Jerry Nadler, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez and other members of the so-called squad, says they are savages and he accused your party of wasting time on what he called and he put it in all caps and I'll say what the President of the United States said, bullshit. He said it's a bullshit investigation. What's your reaction? CARSON: Well, I think he's speaking coded language. He's speaking unfortunately to a base that he's relying on. Saying things like savages, those are kind of meta-messages that are reserved for people of color, minorities, and women quite frankly. And so he's speaking coded language. He's saying to his base, I'm still with you. Look at what they are doing to me. I'm such an underdog.
BLITZER: Congressman Andre Carson, thanks so much for joining us.
CARSON: What a pleasure. Thank you.
BLITZER: All right. And stay with us for more on the breaking news. President Trump accuses Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of helping to write the Ukraine whistleblower's complaint but the whistleblower's attorney tells CNN that is not true.
BLITZER: We're following multiple breaking stories this hour including the just finished close-door briefing by the State Department Inspector General to lawmakers and the Ukraine-related documents he shared with these Members of Congress. Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland is joining us. He's a member of both the Judiciary and the Oversight Committees. He was in that briefing.
Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. What could you tell us about the briefing from the State Department Inspector General?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN, (D-MD): Well, not much other than it probably raised more questions than it answered. Essentially, the Inspector General from the Department of State presented us with the contents of a manila envelope that were delivered in either late April or May to the Department of State. And the cover of it looks like this. I don't know if you can see this, Wolf, but it says Secretary Pompeo attention (ph) roots. And then up here, it says the White House.
So apparently, the effort was at least to make it look like it came from the White House, maybe it did come from the White House. We don't know. There were also a series of subdividing folders within the information and you probably can't see this but they said Trump hotels and there were a series sort of divided off folders under the Trump hotel introductions.
But basically from my speed reading of it, Wolf, what this is is a packet of propaganda and disinformation targeted primarily at Hunter Biden and Ambassador Yovanovitch and so it's very congruent with the things that Rudy Giuliani has been saying over the last several days. It apparently, somehow got into the hands of Secretary of State Pompeo.
We don't know exactly how he got it. This is not post marked but somebody either handed it to him or delivered it to him. He gave it to the counsel of the Department of State, if I'm getting this correct, and then the counsel gave it to the Inspector General who turned it over to the FBI. And we've not heard anything about it since then.
BLITZER: Did the Inspector General, Congressman, explain why he considered this an urgent matter that required him to go up to Capitol Hill and present this document directly to you?
RASKIN: Well, that was my question. And, you know, to take his representations on their face, essentially he was saying he had this for several months. When the whistleblower's statement came out, he felt it was very important to give it to Congress. And there were a number of questions asked by people there about just what you've raised.
And I think -- well a lot of people are wondering why didn't the Department of State try to figure out where this document came from, who put it in the hands of the Secretary of State, who else did Mr. Pompeo give it to? Because, you know, when you flip through it, and I imagine this will be released soon, none of it is classified. It looks like a rather shotty (ph) hit piece put together against Ambassador Yovanovitch and against Hunter Biden and to a certain extent Joe Biden too. So it's more of the same in terms of the stuff we've been saying.
Look, from the perspective of the Oversight Committee and I imagine our colleagues on the Intelligence Committee, it's an irrelevant distraction from what we're focused on which is the fact that the President of the United States used the military and national security power of our government in order to try to extract dirt on a political opponent from an ally country, an ally country which we're trying to support in their resistance against Russian aggression. And then they tried to cover the whole thing up.
So as you know, over the last week or so we've been treated to a revving up of a propaganda machine. And I think that propaganda machine is actually been working for a long time to create a counter- narrative to Mr. Mueller. And this is the part that piques my interest because, look, the Mueller report did not indict even morally Donald Trump for a conspiracy with Russia.
It said there was evidence of, you know, more than 100 contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia but there was not sufficient evidence at least with Donald Trump not testifying that he actually participated in a conspiracy. So you think they would leave well enough alone.
But you turn on a TV and just now we saw it again with the President, he continues to be railing about the 2016 campaign and he wants to debunk for some reason the Special Counsel's very clear finding that there was a sweeping and systematic campaign by Vladimir Putin and by Russia to undermine our election. That seems to be President Trump's target, that seems to be Giuliani's target.
Why are they deploying all these Cabinet members to go abroad to debunk and overthrow the Mueller report when the President was not found to have been in a conspiracy with Russia. They're really in a certain sense trying to protect Russia or Putin at this point.
BLITZER: Congressman Raskin, thanks so much for joining us.
RASKIN: Thank you so much for having me.
BLITZER: All right, our political national security experts, they are here in "The Situation Room." Guys, we've got a lot to discuss. We will right after a quick break.
BLITZER: We're following multiple breaking stories including President Trump repeatedly lashing out at the Ukraine phone call whistleblower and House Democrats who are leading the impeachment investigation.
And, Dana, the President was really on the attack today. Over the past few days, he's really attacking various Democratic lawmakers. Congressman Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, calling him a sick man, a low life. He says that Schiff and Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other so-called members of the squad, women of color, are savages. I mean, the President is really -- you know, he must be so angry, so frustrated he's going off the rails with this.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We never -- it's never a mystery how the President feels. I mean, he --
BASH: He puts it right out there. And today, unfortunately for Republicans on the Hill and those in his staff, he had two events where he could let it all out. And, boy, did he let it all out. Those were the personal attacks which are, even for him, pretty egregious.
What was striking also was to hear how many times he just flat out lied about things. I mean, whether it was what went on with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden but, more importantly, even basic things, like he said, on several occasions, the transcript was a verbatim transcript. It's is an exact transcript of his phone call with the Ukrainian President.
On the actual document that they released from his White House, it says on the first page, explicitly, this is not an exact transcript. I mean, that's just one example of how exhausting it is, frankly, to fact-check him and how exhausted some of his fellow Republicans are getting on Capitol Hill. And probably why we haven't heard from a lot of them, basically.
BLITZER: Yes. The document they released, it says specifically --
BLITZER: -- a memorandum of a telephone conversation is not a verbatim transcript of the discussion.
BASH: We have these great stenographers. They get every word --
BASH: I mean, he went on and on, spinning a tale. And again, I'm not trying to get bogged down on that but it's just one example of something that is so easily fact-checked and is indicative of how, frankly, off the rails he seemed today.
BLITZER: And it's called a memorandum of a telephone conversation. Nia, the President insisted today, you know, he's ready to cooperate. He's fully cooperating. But does he look like someone who is ready to fully cooperate --
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: No, he --
BLITZER: -- with these lawmakers?
HENDERSON: No. I mean, I think today was Exhibit A. The days before, his Twitter sort of tweetstorm talking about all of this, doesn't look like he's a man who is going to divulge everything that the congressional committee is looking into impeachment and looking into that phone call. It doesn't look like he's ready to give up any information.
We can tell by what the State Department is also doing. Mike Pompeo essentially saying that folks who want documents from the State Department are bullying State Department officials, and he's going to be sort of the bodyguard in making -- you know, to sort of protect those people.
So, yes, I mean, we've heard this from the President before. I mean, if you remember back to the Mueller investigation, you know, he would occasionally say, oh, sure, you know, I'll sit down, but the lawyers don't want me to sit down. So I think this is probably what he's going to, perhaps, keep saying, that he'll cooperate while also really tearing down Schiff, tearing down the whistleblower, and tearing down Democrats.
BLITZER: You know, Bianna, the President also said he respects whistleblowers, but they have to be, in his word, legitimate. What is your analysis of that?
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I don't even know how to interpret that. I mean, we all know his line here is that the whistleblower is not legitimate when the ICIG says that this whistleblower's complaint was legitimate, when the Acting DNI said the whistleblower's complaint was legitimate, members of the intelligence community that have just dissected the whistleblower's complaint and said this is clearly somebody who is a seasoned expert on these issues, knows very well about U.S. and Ukraine relations.
And it hasn't been refuted by anyone and you have a transcript -- or a portion of a transcript to back it up. So by the President saying this, I could imagine many thinking that it's a bit rich given some of the conspiracy theories that he's out there promoting that no one would claim is credible, including his Homeland -- his former Homeland Secretary -- Homeland Security Secretary and adviser Tom Bossert, who said that he had told him repeatedly that the CrowdStrike theory was not real. That it was debunked and yet, the President continued to follow it.
I can go on and on about the conspiracy theories that this president has promoted. So this is just another example of the President trying to deflect. He clearly is not over the Russia investigation. In fact, what we heard from him today was a suggestion that he may, in fact, go after and sue some of those that were involved in the Mueller investigation.
So this is a president who had a lot of steam to blow that we saw play out fully in front of the U.S. public and the world public. And it was a bit of a joke, I guess, when the Finnish reporter asked the Finnish President if the President made any requests of him and favors that were asked. But I think it speaks to a larger issue at play right now, and that is that U.S. intelligence and U.S. national security is at stake if many foreign leaders are going to assume, if not have already had experienced, similar types of conversations with the President.
BLITZER: You know, Jim Baker, you're the former FBI General Counsel. After the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff had confirmed reports that the whistleblower did approach a committee staffer before filing the formal whistleblower complaint, the President leveled a very serious and unfounded accusation. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think it's a scandal that he knew before. I'd go a step further. I think he probably helped write it, OK? That's what the word is. And I think it's -- I give a lot of respect for "The New York Times" for putting it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: There's no evidence that Schiff helped write this whistleblower complaint. But what's your reaction when the President levels a charge like that, word is that blah blah blah?
JIM BAKER, FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Well, he should be speaking the truth and not just some supposition or just making things up, quite honestly. We know -- we've heard that the whistleblower's attorney has said that no one helped him write this complaint from the -- from the Hill so that's -- those are the facts that we have to rely on. We don't know exactly what the content was of the discussions that took place between the whistleblower and anybody on the Hill.
And in these very, very difficult circumstances -- circumstances that I've been in before where you're trying to figure out, you know, exactly what to do and not really knowing -- having rules and having a book but not really having that fit the facts and circumstances you're dealing with -- and if the whistleblower was just trying to figure out, hey, I have a unique kind of complaint that I need to file, can you help me figure out how to do this, I can't find any precedent for this, and if it was all procedural, then I don't know what the big deal is.
BLITZER: So how do you see it, Susan?
SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY AND LEGAL ANALYST: No, I think that's absolutely right. They're attempting to sort of attack the process here in order to basically distract from how incredibly damaging the confirmed transcript is. That said, there is nothing wrong with the process here. What appears to have happened is that this whistleblower went to Congress, said I have this unusual thing, how should I best get this information to Congress.
Now, HPSCI could've replied and said just come into the skiff, tell us everything you know, and we'll take it from there. Instead, what counsel said was, look, we will worry about how to get this information out of the executive branch, you go use the whistleblower channels, do this precisely by the book.
And then, whenever the executive branch actually was stonewalling, Schiff gave them an opportunity to comply with the law. When they weren't doing that, Schiff didn't just out the whistleblower and say, well, surprise, I know that there is something really serious. Instead, he chose to protect that person's identity, protect the confidentiality of communications, not with Schiff but with his staff, in order to allow this legitimate process to play out.
BLITZER: You gave the abbreviation for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
BLITZER: I just want to make sure our viewers know that. Everybody, stand by. We're also following breaking news in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Senator Bernie Sanders just tweeted he's feeling good after being treated for an artery blockage. The Senator's campaign says he experienced some chest discomfort while campaigning in Las Vegas. A medical evaluation found he had a blockage in one artery, so two stents were successfully inserted. Sanders' campaign events and appearances, they have been canceled for the time being.
We, of course, wish Senator Sanders a complete, complete and speedy recovery. Coming up, a Dallas jury hands down a prison sentence for a former policewoman convicted of murdering her neighbor. She could have gotten life behind bars. The jury's decision, that's next.
BLITZER: Breaking news in Texas. A Dallas jury just sentenced a White former policewoman to 10 years in prison for the murder of her Black neighbor. She could have received life in prison.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is there for us. Ed, the sentence is sure to be controversial.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was quite a sentence. It was also quite a verdict in this case as Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer, was convicted of murder yesterday. Here, in just about an hour's time, the jury sentenced Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison. She'll be eligible for parole in five years.
The family inside the courtroom was visibly stunned by that number. After the jury had walked out, the prosecutor walked over to the -- Botham Jean's family and said, I can't explain that. And Botham Jean's father told the prosecutor, it's OK, you fought the good fight. Outside, protesters angry about the light sentence in their view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the justice? Amber Guyger gets a chance to get freedom after 10 years, and my son -- and Botham and other sons are dead forever?
We did not get justice, and this is not fair. How many of us is it going to take? There shouldn't be another mother after us. They're just shouldn't be another mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And, Wolf, it is highly emotional on the seventh floor of this courthouse here in Dallas. After everything had settled down in the courtroom, Botham Jean's brother asked if she -- if he could approach Amber Guyger. And Botham Jean's brother hugged the former police officer right there in the courtroom. The judge in the case also went over and hugged Botham Jean's family, as well as the former Dallas police officer as well.
Right now, we are standing just down the hallway from the courtroom where all of this unfolded just moments ago. We are waiting to hear from Botham Jean's family. There has been a gag order in this case, so they haven't been able to speak publicly, any of the major players in this case. But highly emotional moments unfolding here in Dallas, Wolf.
BLITZER: Ed Lavandera on the scene for us. Ed, thank you for that update.
There's more breaking news coming up next. North Korea confirms it test-fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile, one that could pose an even bigger danger to tens of thousands of U.S. troops.
BLITZER: There's more breaking news we're following. North Korea has just confirmed it test-fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile. CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us. Brian, Kim Jong-un is provoking the United States, even as new denuclearization talks are set to begin.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is doing that, Wolf. And as you just mentioned just moments ago, the North Koreans did confirm with new pictures that they launched a newly designed ballistic missile which Kim's regime says further bolsters its military muscle. It's also bolstering the dictator's confidence as he keeps the pressure on Donald Trump.
TODD (voice-over): It is the most brazen provocation from Kim Jong-un in years. North Korea's Supreme Commander, overnight, seemingly testing President Trump's backbone by test-firing a ballistic missile in the water that is designed to be launched from a submarine.
JOSEPH YUN, FORMER UNITED STATES SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR NORTH KOREA POLICY: I mean, this is way above and beyond, you know. And this is sending a message that we can do these tests any time we want.
TODD (voice-over): It's above and beyond because this time, U.S. officials tell CNN, Kim tested a medium-range missile, which can reach targets further away than any of the short-range missiles Kim has tested this year.
ROBERT FISHER, SENIOR FELLOW ON ASIAN MILITARY AFFAIRS, INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY CENTER: There are tens of thousands of Americans in South Korea, in Japan, military personnel, civilians, that are threatened by these missiles. This is a big deal.
TODD (voice-over): Specifically, about 80,000 American troops in South Korea and Japan are in the target range of the missiles Kim has tested this year. Tests that violate U.N. resolutions but that the President has consistently played down.
TRUMP: He has been doing some short-range missiles but so does every other country do short-range missiles. Every country is doing them. They're pretty standard fare.
TODD (voice-over): But missile analysts tell CNN, by testing short and now medium-range missiles in recent months, Kim is also advancing the technology for his long-range missiles that could potentially hit the United States. And experts are alarmed tonight over the ramping up of Kim's submarine-launched missile capability in recent weeks and the North Koreans' attempts to hide those efforts.
Satellite photos have showed new activity at a submarine shipyard. And there are pictures of Kim inspecting an enormous sub under construction. A vessel that, experts say, will likely carry multiple nuclear-tipped missiles and could give the North Korean dictator the element of surprise against his enemies.
FISHER: A land-based missile, you can follow it around and maybe attack it before it can be launched but not a submarine-launched ballistic missile. A submarine-launched ballistic missile only gives you minutes warning.
TODD (voice-over): This missile test comes just days before so-called working-level nuclear talks between officials just under Trump and Kim are set to begin. Analysts say that's no coincidence, that Kim is sending a message.
YUN: Very much his message is I am calling the shots now, you know. And I think he feels that President Trump is weakened, especially with the Ukraine whistleblower affair. And they do believe that Trump needs a foreign affairs victory.
TODD: The White House has expressed, quote, strong concerns about the North Korean missile test. The State Department is calling on North Korea to refrain from provocations.
But will President Trump specifically call out Kim Jong-un for these tests the next time they meet or exchange letters? Will the State Department hold North Korean diplomats' feet to the fire over this during this new round of talks about to start? We have pressed the White House and State Department on those questions; they have not commented -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Brian, thank you. Disturbing developments, indeed. There's more breaking news we're following. As House Democrats threaten to subpoena documents from the White House, President Trump says, and I'm quoting him now, I always cooperate. But will he?
BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. In a rage. The President unloads on camera and on Twitter, using false claims and profanity to try to undermine the impeachment investigation and to attack Democrats. Tonight, he's aiming his most intense wrath as the -- at the House Intelligence Committee Chairman.
He's scared. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Mr. Trump is terrified of impeachment.