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Second Whistleblower Comes Forward With Firsthand Knowledge; Trump Drags Rick Perry Into Ukraine Call Scandal; Acting DNI Vows To Protect Whistleblowers; Amid Recession Fears, Investors Hoping China Trade Deal; President Makes Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) His Impeachment Foil; Manhunt Underway After Nine Shot, Four Killed At Kansas Bar. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired October 6, 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]

ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM: You're live in the CNN Newsroom. Thanks for staying with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Breaking news, a second whistleblower has now come forward with information about President Trump. A lawyer representing this new whistleblower says they are a member of the Intelligence Community and may have firsthand knowledge that supports the claims made by the first whistleblower. This annihilates what's become a go-to defense for Republicans who claim the impeachment inquiry is based on hearsay.

Now, a lawyer at this firm representing both whistleblowers' rights, I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12th, 2019 disclosure to the Intelligence Community inspector general. No further comment at this time. So we're still trying to get clarification on whether multiple means more than the two whistleblowers we are now aware of right now. That remains unclear.

Let's get straight out to CNN's Jeremy Diamond live outside the White House for us. And, Jeremy, this is a much bigger threat to the president than the original whistleblower considering this person has firsthand knowledge. How is the White House responding?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we have heard from President Trump in the weeks since this whistleblower came out is this insistence that he did nothing wrong, that his call with the Ukrainian president was perfect. And now, what we're hearing from the White House in the wake of this second whistleblower complaint is much more of the same.

Here is the statement from the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham. She writes, it doesn't matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers about the same telephone call, a call the president already made public. It doesn't change the fact that he has done nothing wrong.

We heard very similar words from the president last night on Twitter as well. And what the president and this White House have consistently been doing in the wake of these whistleblower allegations is focusing on trying to discredit the whistleblower despite the fact that we have seen a mountain of public evidence so far to corroborate that whistleblower's complaints already.

And from Republicans and from the president, we're hearing again an attempt to divert the issue and to focus on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, those unproven claims. However, in the wake of the president publicly calling for Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden, no senior administration official agreed to appear on any of those Sunday news program this morning. Ana?

CABRERA: Jeremy, I understand you are also learning about a possible new defense from the president that quizzically involves Energy Secretary Rick Perry, what?

DIAMOND: That's right. Well, Ana, we know that the president has a proclivity for throwing others under the bus, and it appears that this may be an early attempt at doing exactly that. On a conference call with House Republicans on Friday, The Washington Post and Axios are now reporting that the president said that Rick Perry urged him to call the Ukrainian president to discuss liquefied natural gas and energy matters. Secretary Perry's spokesperson has confirmed Secretary Perry supported and encouraged the president to speak with the Ukrainian president.

Now, of course, how you get from an encouragement to talk to the Ukrainian president to the president asking the Ukrainians to investigate his political rival, that much the president has not yet revealed. Ana?

CABRERA: Okay. Jeremy Diamond at the White House for us, thank you.

President Trump so far has not gotten his wish to meet either whistleblower, the original one or this new reported second one. Right now, their names, their identities are being kept very quiet.

Some of the most famous whistleblowers in U.S. history did eventually make themselves known, sometimes long after the scandal was set in motion. Here in CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tell me what you know and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction, if I can, but that's all. Just follow the money.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is perhaps the most famous whistleblower in history, known simply as Deep Throat. In the 1970s, he helped take down President Richard Nixon by divulging critical information about the Watergate break-in to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Woodward, Bernstein, you're called on the story. Now, (Bleep) it up.

KAYE: Deep Throat would set up secret meetings with Woodward by drawing a clock with a specific time usually late at night on page 20 of Woodward's copy of The New York Times. They would then meet at that time inside an underground parking garage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, I am not Deep Throat.

KAYE: In fact, he was. The mystery ended in 2005 when Mark Felt, the number two in command at the FBI in the early '70s revealed he was Deep Throat.

Also in the 1970s, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg earned a reputation as the most dangerous man in America for leaking a top secret government study about the Vietnam War, known as the Pentagon Papers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The name has now come out as the possible source of The Times Pentagon documents. It is that of Daniel Ellsberg.

KAYE: The Pentagon Paper showed the government had mismanaged the Vietnam War and lied about it. Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 with theft and conspiracy.

[18:05:01]

But the charges were later dropped due to government misconduct. Ellsberg's disclosures as a whistleblower are credited with helping end the war.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I couldn't care less about the punk. I wanted to discredit that kind of activity.

KAYE: Decades later in 2013, former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning was convicted after sharing nearly 750,000 military and diplomatic documents with WikiLeaks related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CHELSEA MANNING, U.S. ARMY WHISTLEBLOWER: I stopped seeing just statistics and information and I started seeing people.

KAYE: Included in the leaked material, a video of Iraqi civilians and journalists being killed by a U.S. helicopter in 2007.

She was convicted and sentenced to 35 years for the leak, but President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

The same year Manning was convicted, whistleblower Edward Snowden began leaking classified government material to the media and a documentary filmmaker.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY WHISTLEBLOWER: The more you're ignored, the more you're told it's not a problem, until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public.

KAYE: Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, shared documents from the National Security Agency about far-reaching surveillance programs.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: People's lives are at risk here because of a data that Mr. Snowden purloined. KAYE: Among other things, Snowden was charged with giving National Defense information to someone without a security clearance and revealing classified information. He is living in exile in Russia.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: With us now, a journalist and author whose new book on whistleblowers just hit store shelves, it's Crisis of Conscious, Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud, Tom Mueller is here with us, also here our Political Analyst Patrick Healy.

Tom, you wrote this whole book on whistleblowers and now we have news that there are multiple whistleblowers into actions happening at the White House. Does it necessarily make the accusation against the president stronger if more than one person comes forward?

TOM MUELLER, AUTHOR, CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE, WHISTLEBLOWING IN AN AGE OF FRAUD: It certainly does. What we're seeing now is a community of whistleblowers coming forward. And each revelation by each individual, much as a witness, a series of witnesses to a murder, will strengthen the original statements and give it more depth, more credibility.

CABRERA: Two whistleblowers now. And the president and his allies are on the attack. Let me read what Lindsey Graham wrote the today about the second whistleblower. He says, when it comes to more whistleblowers come forward, I have seen this movie before with Brett Kavanaugh, more and more doesn't mean better or reliable.

Patrick, I remember after the account from the first whistleblower, the defense was, oh, this is hearsay, he doesn't have direct knowledge, it wasn't a direct witness. This person, and, again, I'll just say he or she because we don't know if it's a man or a woman, but this person does have that direct knowledge, and yet it's more of the same.

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. This is really important. The second whistleblower now has more firsthand knowledge that can support what was frankly a very comprehensive and detailed report from the first whistleblower. So the degree to which these two people, at least the first whistleblower and the second whistleblower are bringing forward more details, more evidence that really supports the questions that the House Democrats and the investigative panels are looking into about Ukraine, the worse it is for President Trump.

And you're seeing now the president and his allies trying to turn these whistleblowers really into political actors, political figures. Randi's piece just now went through how for many of these whistleblowers over time, they felt like they were taking acts of conscience because they saw abuses of power that they felt either violated government law, violated the Constitution and others. And the president, more than certainly Nixon did in the early '70s and others over time has tried to make this into a strictly partisan Democratic argument to try to really undercut this. CABRERA: And, Tom, you say these attacks on the whistleblower are straight out of the whistleblower destruction playbook, attack the messenger, not the message. How successful is this attack strategy?

MUELLER: Unfortunately, it often succeeds in distracting people's attention from these very, very serious facts that are being brought forward by the messenger. I think that it's also part of the whistleblower strategy playbook that individual's -- there's a cascade of whistleblowing. An individual will come forward and embolden others to come forward and say similar things, or that original whistleblower will be so badly retaliated against that others feel beholden and feel obliged to come forward in their defense.

[18:10:02]

They're outraged with this kind of treatment.

This is a body of knowledge that's well established among 12 people. And these 12 people are well known to the inspector general. This is a group of whistleblowers coming forward and there is strength in numbers.

CABRERA: Yes. Listen to the back and forth between Congressman Adam Schiff and Joseph Maguire. Maguire is the acting Director of National Intelligence. This was during Maguire's testimony on Capitol Hill this week. It shows just how differently Maguire and the president feel about whistleblowers and whether they should be protected.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSEPH MAGUIRE, ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I think the whistleblower did the right thing. I think he followed the law every step of the way and we just got stuck --

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Then why, Director, when the president called a whistleblower a political hack and suggested that he or she might be disloyal to the country, why did you remain silent?

MAGUIRE: I did not remain silent, Mr. Chairman. I issued a statement to my workforce telling the committee committing my commitment to the whistleblower protection and ensuring that I would provide protection to anybody within the Intelligence Community who comes forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Maguire says the whistleblower did the right thing, should be protected. President Trump wants a name.

Tell us, Tom, the downside of a whistleblower's identity becoming known if they don't want it known.

MUELLER: It's an incredibly difficult thing as an individual to have your entire organization turn against you to be saying things that become politicized and particularly in this environment where the president is suggesting that this person who, as Director Maguire says, is following the law, has followed the law every step of the way, is being accused of treason, of spying and the president even suggesting that they should be rubbed out like in the good old days. This is an extremely explosive environment and one in which an individual alone is in serious danger, I think even physical danger.

Now, again, there is solidarity in numbers. And as this whistleblower community comes forward with a body of evidence, I think this individual will be much safer.

CABRERA: Patrick, there does seem to be at least bipartisan support on protecting this whistleblower or whistleblowers. I mean, it seems to be the only thing that these Republican and Democrats on Capitol Hill are on the same page on.

HEALY: It's true, but it's an important thing. And the reality is as you're seeing House Republicans, Senate Republicans who are attacking Democrats, but they're not attacking the whistleblower the way that President Trump and Rudy Giuliani are really trying to slime these individuals who have come forward.

And that is a pretty striking difference. It looks right now like President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, some of the others in the White House are kind of isolated in this strategy of really trying to personally tear down and demonizes people of conscience inside the government who are coming forward and saying that they are seeing acts of wrongdoing.

And it's notable and this could be important as a prelude to what may come in the impeachment inquiry that House Republicans and Senate Republicans are not going overboard to turn these, at least, two whistleblowers into just, you know, partisan attack dogs who can just be dismissed out of hand.

It seems like there are a good number of Republicans on the Hill who are at least saying right now, we want to know the facts, we want at least this to be investigated in some way and we'll see what comes of that.

CABRERA: Tom, a source told our Jake Tapper that the first whistleblower is a registered Democrat. Does that matter?

MUELLER: It really doesn't. This is an individual who's doing his duty as he sees it. Every public employee is required by the oath they take when they join their office to report fraud, waste, abuse and corruption. This person came forward and, through channels, made this disclosure, indicated others who would support and reinforce the statements that he was making. These people have undoubtedly been questioned by the inspector general and these people are now becoming part of the community of whistleblowers that are coming forward.

It doesn't matter which card their carry. That will be used undoubtedly, again, to shift the message -- to shift attention from the message to the messenger and try to destroy the messenger and therefore make the message go away. But the political affiliation of the individuals involved is completely irrelevant here.

CABRERA: Tom, why do whistleblowers do it? Certainly not for fame or political gain, and often brings retribution. It can make them hated people who fear for their lives. In this case, a whistleblower could conceivably bring down a president.

MUELLER: Correct. Individuals -- quite often, individuals that come forward have a deep bedrock ethical sense that supercedes their immediate allegiance or immediate loyalty to their boss or to their peers. They say, you know, I have a greater allegiance. I have a greater allegiance to my organization. I have a greater allegiance to my country.

And it's quite inspiring. I spent a lot of time with a lot of whistleblowers in nuclear safety, in healthcare, in banking.

[18:15:04]

And again and again, I hear this voice of the conscience, which refuses to be swallowed by the mission, you know, or obedience to, in this case, a corrupt leadership. It's a very inspiring thing to hear, an individual who can stand up against a multinational corporation or an entire body of government and prevail.

CABRERA: All right. Tom Mueller and Patrick Healy, thanks to both of you.

And just a reminder, the book is Crisis of Conscience by Tom Mueller. Get your hands on it. It's an interesting read.

All right, with another whistleblower coming forward now, how can Democrats ensure that the White House complies with their demands? Elie Honig joins us to answer that and more of your questions, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: In the unfolding Ukraine scandal, a lawyer is now confirming a second whistleblower has firsthand knowledge supporting the claims made by the first whistleblower. Also this weekend, the president called for Senator Mitt Romney's impeachment for criticizing him. Never mind that a member of Congress cannot be impeached. Then one of Trump's GOP challengers called the president a traitor for asking Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens. And the president continues to rant on Twitter throwing out baseless allegations against Vice President Joe Biden and his family. So things are moving quickly.

We're here to help catch you up and to answer your questions. CNN Legal Analyst Elie Honig is back with us.

[18:20:01]

And, Elie, I know you have received literally thousands of questions from more than 20 countries and six continents, and so, obviously, the interest here is huge. And one of the viewers wants to know what can the House do to enforce its subpoenas if and when witnesses like Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refuse to comply?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So when Congress started its investigation after the Mueller report came out, and I know it feels like it was forever ago, it was only a few months ago, Donald Trump came out and announced, we're fighting all the subpoenas. And by and large, that strategy worked. Jerry Nadler and House Democrats really got stonewalled and they got very little actual substantive testimony. And I think Donald Trump is trying for a repeat of that.

But now, Adam Schiff is running the show and he has shown that he intends to play hardball. When he sent those subpoenas to Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pompeo, in the cover letter, he said, if you fight us, if you do not respond, we reserve the right to do two things. One, draw an adverse inference, meaning if you are silent, we will assume the worst regarding the allegations against the president. And two, we reserve the right to bring an article of impeachment against the president for obstruction of Congress. And footnote, that was one of the draft articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon before he resigned.

CABRERA: Here is another question. Can Giuliani sidestep a House subpoena by claiming attorney/client privilege?

HONIG: So it is a very flimsy for Rudy Giuliani to try to hide behind. Attorney/client privilege only protects communications between an attorney and a client, nobody else and only about legal matters. So it would not shield conversations Rudy Giuliani had with Department of State officials or with Ukrainian officials or the conversations where Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and any third person was involved. So it's really only a very narrow slice.

Also there's something called the crime fraud exception, which says, if an attorney and a client are talking about committing a crime together, then that is not protected either. And here, as we discussed before, we arguably have bribery, solicitation of foreign election aid. I think, really, this is a delay tactic by Rudy Giuliani. I think his goal is to get this in court, slow it down. I think Adam Schiff's hardball approach will be smart and necessary if he follows through on it.

CABRERA: Right now, it seems like everything is coming at us at a breakout (ph) pace. One viewer asks, how long does the impeachment process take?

HONIG: So there is no formal specific timing requirement on impeachment in contrast to criminal trials, which have specific deadlines. But the Bill Clinton impeachment provides, I think, a helpful timeline. The House initiated its inquiry, impeachment inquiry of Bill Clinton in October this time of year, 1998. The House formally impeached Clinton in December of '98 and the Senate tried and acquitted Bill Clinton January into February of '99.

Big difference here though, we are just under one year out from a presidential election cycle. Clinton was just under two years out from an election cycle. He couldn't run again but there was a presidential election looming.

So the time pressure is even more intense now. Schiff understands that. He said, we're moving expeditiously. He understands that the clock is ticking until November 2020. I think what viewers should expect is the House to vote on impeachment before the end of the New Year. And if they do impeach, I think the Senate will be holding a trial early in 2020.

And by the way, six continents, Antarctica has got to get on it.

CABRERA: Okay, get on it because we're not done yet. The night is still young.

HONIG: There are scientists there. They're studying the environment. Send us a question. Let's get all seven.

CABRERA: Okay, you heard the challenge. Elie Honig, stand by and thank you. Don't forget, keep your questions coming. Elie will be back next hour to answer more of your questions. You can do your submittals on cnn.com.

Amid attacks and all the scrutiny, we'll take a look at the man leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, why sources close to Congressman Adam Schiff say there's no room for error.

But, first, Christine Romans is here with this week's Before the Bell. Christine?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. With recession fears growing, investors are hoping for positive developments on a trade deal. The next round of U.S./China trade talks scheduled for later this week in Washington.

Wall Street wants to see real signs of progress following last week's disappointing economic data. Stocks tumbled on more evidence the trade war is hurting the economy. U.S. manufacturing contracted for a second straight month in September, the key index falling to its lowest level since 2009. And a report measuring growth and services, that's the biggest part of the American economy, that came in weaker than expected.

Now, the September jobs report was mixed. Unemployment fell to 3.5 percent. That is a brand new 50-year low. But the economy created just 136,000 jobs, a slower pace of hiring. And the wage growth was the slowest in more than a year. All together, the report raises the likelihood the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again later this month.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:25:00]

CABRERA: Confirmation this weekend that a second whistleblower has now made him or herself known with information about President Trump's dealings with Ukraine. The president saying he wants the names. He even wants to face his anonymous accusers.

But since the impeachment inquiry began, one person catching a considerable share of the president's scorn is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The discord (ph) between these two men has even earned Congressman Adam Schiff a dubious honor, a presidential nickname.

CNN's Dana Bash has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Shifty Schiff.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump thrives on creating political foils, especially in a crisis.

TRUMP: Shifty, dishonest guy.

BASH: Now, that's Adam Schiff, the man spearheading the impeachment inquiry. What this means for Schiff is that there is no room for error. Every move he makes, every word he utters scrutinized by Republicans and combed for mistakes, like this last month.

SCHIFF: We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.

BASH: Schiff now says, quote, I regret that I wasn't much more clear because he may not have spoken to the whistleblower, but it turns out his staff did.

[18:30:04]

The whistleblower contacted his committee for guidance and was told to file the complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general, which is what happened.

An aide to the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Community said Schiff followed protocol. But that nuance is irrelevant to a president eager to discredit him.

TRUMP: He knew long before and he helped write it too. It's a scam.

BASH: Schiff aides and the whistleblower's attorneys say that is not true. The committee had no role in writing the whistleblower's complaint. But that did not stop Trump's campaign and conservative media from pushing the false claim.

SCHIFF: I have a favor I want from you.

BASH: The president is also pummeling Schiff for reading a parody of his call with Ukraine's leader instead of the actual White House summary, though Schiff did introduce it this way.

SCHIFF: This is the essence of what the president communicates. You better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand lots of it, on this and on that. I'm going to put you in touch with people, not just any people.

TRUMP: He actually made it up. It should be criminal. It should be treasonous. He made it up, every word of it, made up and read to Congress as though I said it. BASH: The president's hyperbole aside, CNN is told by Democratic sources that Schiff realizes it opened him up to criticism despite telling Wolf this.

SCHIFF: I was mocking the president's conduct.

BASH: The House Speaker, a big Schiff champion, backs him up.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I want them to hear it. So, yes, it's fair. It's sad, but it's using the president's own words.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: It was an interpretation of the president's words?

PELOSI: He did not make it up.

BASH: Many House Democratic sources say Pelosi was eager to put Schiff in charge of the impeachment inquiry because of his intellect, savvy and background as a prosecutor, which, opening statement aside, came across during Q&Q with the acting DNI last week.

SCHIFF: Is that not an issue of interference in our election?

BASH: Now, more than ever, some colleagues tell CNN he is well aware he's under the biggest microscope of his life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: I'm told Schiff is also keenly aware of the pitfalls of leading an impeachment inquiry because he was first elected to the House almost 20 years ago in a race against Republican James Rogan, an impeachment manager who argued the case against Bill Clinton in that Senate trial.

Now, voter backlash against Rogan for going overboard with that helped Schiff Win. And I'm told lessons from that and what he thinks Republicans did wrong are helping guide him now.

Dana bash, CNN, Washington.

CABRERA: Get ready for what could be the make or break moments in the race to 2020. The fourth Democratic Presidential Debate is coming to CNN live from the battleground State of Ohio. Will one candidate break away from the pack of hopefuls? Find out on the CNN and The New York Times Democratic Presidential Debate Tuesday, October 15th at 8:00 P.M. Eastern.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:35:00]

CABRERA: President Trump has made it a habit of being buddy-buddy with world leaders who face accusations of corruption and brutality. So when Trump says he just wants to stop corruption, does that also include them?

CNN's Tom Foreman breaks it all down for us. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the president's chief talking point that he just wants to stop corruption flies in the face of his now well-established tendency to utterly ignore corruption when his allies or friends are allegedly involved. Take Israel. Trump has praised, encouraged aAnd supported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly even as speculation over an indictment on bribery and breach of trust charges has loomed.

In Russia, Trump has defended and admired President Vladimir Putin repeatedly, despite American Intelligence Forces saying definitively that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election and despite longstanding accusations of corruption, brutality and even murder against Putin's regime.

Trump has said incredibly kind things about North Korea's Kim Jong-un who heads one of the most five corrupt governments on the planet, according to the World Economic Forum.

In China, the Communist Party has long been accused of corrupt dealings, political and economic cronyism, human rights abuses and much more, and yet Trump has invited them amid trade negotiations to help investigate a potential Democratic rival, Joe Biden and his son with vague and bombastic language. And, of course, he's asked Ukraine to do the same, even though that country has long struggled with its problems of corruption.

Here in the States, similar story. Right now, top members of Trump's team are being investigated for their roles in what many political watchdogs say is a clear case of corruption, not to mention all those allegations that Trump is using the White House to push his private business, that he's hiding something in the tax returns he refuses to release and that he stonewalls every single effort to investigate anyone close to him for, yes, alleged corruption. Ana?

CABRERA: Tom Foreman, thanks.

We're following a developing story out of Kansas where police are searching for a shooter who opened fire at a Kansas City bar and killed four.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00]

CABRERA: Whistleblowers, subpoenas, an impeachment inquiry. Well, the biggest controversy of the Trump presidency takes over Washington. The president is pivoting to a new defense. He says his phone call with the president of Ukraine where he asked for dirt on his political rival, Joe Biden, was not political and aimed solely at rooting out corruption.

That brings us to your weekend presidential brief with CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd. It's a segment we bring you every weekend with the most pressing national security issues the president will face tomorrow. And, Sam, help prepare the daily briefing for President Obama.

So there are two whistleblowers now involved. The second one is said to have firsthand knowledge of that July 25th phone call. This is according to this whistleblower's attorney. We do want to speculate on this person's identity, Sam, but we do know a few things already, don't we?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: We do. And, Ana, if past is prologue, the president will try to out the second whistleblower and bully him or her just like he did with the first one despite the fact that under U.S. law, these whistleblowers have the right to make what we call protected disclosures.

As federal employees, they have a right to privacy under the Privacy Act. Under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act and the subsequent presidential policy directive, they are authorized to make these protected disclosures without fear of retaliation. As members of the Intelligence Community, that includes retaliation in terms of being fired or any negative impact on their security clearance adjudication process.

Now, as you mentioned, this first whistleblower said that he or she was not a direct witness. The Intelligence Community inspector general launched a preliminary investigation. We read the report.

[18:45:00]

And the whistleblower, in his or her complaint, said that there were at least half a dozen White House staff that had complained about the president's behavior. This second whistleblower could be one of those people. And because this second whistleblower has firsthand knowledge, it could be someone that listened to the president's call itself.

That's a relatively small group of people. It often includes the Director of the White House Situation Room, just a few staff in the White House Situation Room, and the NSC Senior Director, director responsible for Ukraine.

CABRERA: You talk about official channels for investigations. That's something Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the two ambassadors who texted with these Ukrainian officials. We know the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was involved in all of this. He would have also been aware of official investigation channels, no?

VINOGRAD: Definitely. But, Ana, why were Ambassador Sondland and Special Envoy Volker even working on these issues in the first place? Sondland's portfolio is literally in Brussels, working on E.U. issues, not on anti-corruption in Ukraine. Former Special Envoy Volker, his roles was on Ukraine negotiations, not on this issue related to anti- corruption.

That said, there were so many official challenges available to Secretary of State Pompeo and to Volker and Sondland. For example, there's an entire State Department Bureau that's called INL, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, that works on anti- corruption in foreign countries and that works on law enforcement issues.

On the State Department website, there's an entire web page that details something called an MLAT, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. We have it with Ukraine. It's a mechanism whereby you make a formal request of another country for investigative work on criminal matters. And, finally, both at the U.S. mission in Brussels and at the U.S. embassy in Kiev, there are DOJ, Department of Justice personnel that work on joint investigative work.

These three officials, Pompeo, Volker and Sondland, didn't go through official channels, likely because they knew that experts wouldn't want to touch any of this with a ten-foot pole.

CABRERA: What about Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House Chief of Staff? Based on your own experience working for an administration, how likely is it that he would have been involved in this?

VINOGRAD: The clique of corrupt actors in this administration seems to be growing and Mulvaney looks like a major player. As act chief of staff, Mulvaney would have been responsible for a lot of the activities detailed in the whistleblower complaint. He is, obviously, in charge of White House staff, as acting Chief of State, and any efforts they took to abuse classified systems, to hide readouts. As acting Chief of Staff, he would have been responsible for setting the conditions for White House visits.

We also know from the text messages that these ambassadors were in touch with Mulvaney about a quid pro quo with respect to a White House visit and investigation of Biden. And finally, Mick Mulvaney was one, according to reporting, that gave the order to actually free security assistance.

So as these subpoenas continue, as the impeachment inquiry continues, it really looks like a lot of roads lead to Mick Mulvaney.

CABRERA: We will see. There is so much more we'll uncover here, clearly. Sam Vinograd, as always, good to see you, thank you.

Senator and 2020 Presidential Candidate Cory Booker is going to join us live in the CNN Newsroom, just ahead. I'll ask him what he makes of this new second whistleblower that has come forward and whether he would vote to impeach President Trump today, next.

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[18:50:00]

CABRERA: Right now, a manhunt is under way for two suspects after a shooting at a Kansas City bar. Four people died, five were injured in this attack early this morning. Police have released some images of the suspects and they're appealing for the public's help to find them.

Let's get to CNN's Natasha Chen in Kansas City, Kansas. Natasha, what have you learned?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the last couple of hours, police have actually shared some photos of two suspects they're looking for and they're asking for the public's help in identifying these people.

Now, we showed these pictures to some folks here, including people who were at the bar last night just a few hours before the shooting happened, and I mean one person says she recognizes one of the people as a man who had come in earlier in the evening agitated and having an altercation with both the bartender and another guest before being kicked out. That person I spoke to was in the bar with her best friend and her best friend's fiance. Unfortunately, that fiance is one of the four people who were killed. And the best friend was there her fiance until his last breathe, I'm told, so just heartbreaking stories.

Here is another person we talked to who is also a friend of some of the victims involved here.

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TONI MACIEL, COUSIN INJURED IN SHOOTING: It is just unfortunate. The families need closure. They have a lot of questions. We just want to know why would somebody do this here, because now -- I mean, we've got families in this area. Why would you do that here?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: And as we're waiting for a vigil to begin here in about an hour, we're also hearing of some heroics. I was just told that one of the people killed who was in his 20s apparently dancing with a woman. And when the shots were fired, he apparently threw her to the ground and took that bullet. So we're starting to hear about some of these incredible stories.

Meanwhile, police still looking for those two people. They believe the two people both fired shots in this situation with handguns. So we're also looking for more information from police as time goes on with that, Ana.

CABRERA: Okay. Natasha Chen, please do keep us updated. We appreciate it.

CNN now learning a second whistleblower is coming forward with firsthand knowledge of the president's interactions with Ukraine. But Trump's allies are already dismissing those claims. The facts, next.

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[18:55:00]

CABRERA: Saturday Night Live turning the spotlight to Vice President Mike Pence and impeachment last night. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you know this impeachment farce is growing worse by the day, and now a second whistleblower is coming forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's all happening during my busy season, Halloween.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the president, Mike?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has more important things to deal with. He's meeting with an alligator breeder about filling the moat at the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should have told me. I know a couple of gators from when I lived in the Central Park Zoo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy, we need to get ahead of this story before it spirals out of control. Did you see those text messages they uncovered?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They totally exonerate us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? What did they say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this one says, I think we should stop texting about the crimes and maybe tell the crimes over the phone so that the crimes don't leave little crime footprints. See, it's all taken care of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe I have to deal with this. I'm supposed to be seeing the new Judy Garland movie with mother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You worry too much, Mike. Presidents get impeached every 30 or 40 years. Now, come on, relax, have another glass of milk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's 5:00 somewhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: You're live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with us.

And tonight, the White House in all out defense mode after news that now a second whistleblower has come forward in a saga over Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president in which he asked for dirt on Joe Biden. What's different this time, this whistleblower said to have firsthand knowledge of what happened on that call, something the first whistleblower did not.

The White House issuing this statement tonight, it doesn't matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers about the same telephone call, a call the president made public, It doesn't change the fact that he has done nothing wrong.

[19:00:00] Another way the White House is choosing to play defense, according to the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, a central figure on the Ukraine saga on --