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Republican Resistance To Impeach Trump Is Showing Small Cracks; Senator Bernie Sanders Back In Full Campaign Mode After A Heart Attack And With A New Endorsement This Weekend; The Complicated Relationship Between Trump & Graham; Trump To Host G-7 At His Florida Golf Resort; Mulvaney Admits To Quid Pro Quo, Tries To Walk It Back; Giuliani Pushed For U.S. Visa For Ukrainian Prosecutor Biden & Others Wanted Fired; Mass Protests In London As Pivotal Brexit Vote Is Delayed; Video Shows Coach Disarm Student With A Gun. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired October 19, 2019 - 16:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Now the Republican resistance to impeach Trump is showing small cracks. There are still no sitting GOP congressman calling for impeachment but more leading voices in the party are sounding off against the President. Florida congressman Frances Rooney tells CNN that he would not rule out voting to impeach the President, as he also reveals he will not run for reelection.

And about 24 hours ago, former Ohio Governor, John Kasich told me this.


JOHN KASICH (R), FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR: If you are asking me if I was sitting in the House of Representatives today and you were to ask me, how do I feel, do I think impeachment should move and should go for a full examination and a trial in the United States Senate, my vote would be yes.


CABRERA: Even Mitch McConnell is adding to the drum beat. "The New York Times" reports that the Senate majority leader now believes an impeachment trial is quote "inevitable."

All this is happening after a week of bombshells in and around the White House with the biggest one blowing up what has been President Trump's prime defense for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens no quid pro quo.

But Thursday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted there was, saying one of the reasons the White House withheld Ukraine's military aid was to get Ukraine to investigate Democrats. Mulvaney later denied the quid pro quo admission.

CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond joins us now.

And Jeremey, obviously Mulvaney's attempt to walk back that admission didn't work, and now he's meeting today with a group of Republicans at camp David. What do you know about that?

JEREMEY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. Well, Ana, that is essentially what we know. The White House has declined to provide us a list of members of Congress who are joining the White House chief of staff at camp David. But obviously, the context of this visit is notable. It comes after, as you noted, Mick Mulvaney admitted to this quid pro quo involving security aid with Ukraine before quickly denying it.

And it also comes because Republican members of both the House and the Senate are bracing for this likely impeachment of the President. We know that earlier this week, the Senate majority leader walked Republican members of the Senate through what this impeachment trial would likely look like, making clear there's no way to short circuit this process and a trial would have to indeed go forward under the supervision of the chief justice of the U.S. support, John Roberts, if indeed the House does impeach the President.

There's not just criticism right now and cracks we're seeing Republicans on this question of impeachment, but also the president is also facing criticism on his handling of the situation in Syria and also of course his selection of his own property for that G-7 next year in the United States.

CABRERA: All right. Jeremy Diamond at the White House for us this afternoon. Thank you.

Joining us now, former Clinton White House aide Keith Boykin and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro.

Ana, it seemed like a big deal for congressman Rooney this week, a sitting House Republican, to announce he was open to this idea of impeachment, wanting the facts to play out, but now he tells us he is on his way out, not run for reelection. Why is that always the case?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because when Donald Trump tweets against you and you are a Republican in Congress, it can cost you a primary. It can mean you will get primaried because Donald Trump has been very effective in instituting a reign of terror within Republicans in elected office because he will go after them and they will pay consequences.

CABRERA: So for Frances Rooney and others in the party, Keith, what Mulvaney said at the White House press briefing this week was a bit of a turning point. And let me remind everybody exactly what Mulvaney said.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: This is a corrupt place. I don't want to send them a bunch of money and have them waste it, have them spend it, have a musical line their own pockets. Did he also mention to me in the past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that's it. That's why we held up the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you just described it a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happens as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy.


CABRERA: So this was the first time the White House acknowledged withholding the Ukrainian aid was linked to Trump getting his way with investigations that could help him politically, Keith. And now you have Mitch McConnell saying, yes, impeachment is going to happen, and we are going to have it in the Senate and have to have a trial outlining the process and what that will look like. Should Trump be worried?

KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I don't know if he should be worried because so far there haven't been any consequence just illegal, impeachable and constitutional conduct. But it shows that they don't even have their lies straight in the White House. At first it was nothing happened and then something happened.

But then it was something happened but it wasn't something we should be concerned about because there was no quid pro quo. Now it is a quid pro quo but get over it. And then a few minutes later, there's no quid pro quo after all. So Mick Mulvaney walked back the statement after he acknowledged --.


CABRERA: And now there's a t-shirt saying, get over it.

BOYKIN: Saying get over it. They are making a joke out of this whole thing. This is the constitution of the United States and the survival of the republic we are talking about. They are acting like this is some sort of reality TV show, and Donald Trump is the game show host again.

It's a tragedy that Republicans aren't speaking about this more often. And when they do, as Ana pointed out, they are criticizing. Mitt Romney has been one of the few to be critical of the President in the past week. And as soon as he did, the President tweeted this whole attack on him.

And then for other people like you were talking before like Frances Rooney, yes, he has able to say he's willing to consider impeachment, now the day before he say he is going retire from Congress. So where the courage from Republicans? You only want to be courageous and do the right thing. You do the right thing for the country when you realize you're going to step down from office.

CABRERA: Ana, let me read you a quote from "The New York Times" editorial board today. Republicans will not be able to postpone a reckoning with Trumpism for much longer. The investigation by House Democrats appears likely to result in a vote for impeachment despite efforts by the White House to obstruct the inquiry.

That will force Senate Republicans to choose. Will they commit themselves and their party wholly to Mr. Trump, embracing even his most anti-Democratic actions or will they take the first step towards separating themselves from him and restoring confidence in the rule of law? What's the answer?

NAVARRO: I don't think we know the answer quite yet. But I think you're seeing some cracks in the support for Trump because of his insanity and unstable behavior. You know, in the midst of all this impeachment, he is tweeting out crazy things. He is making crazy actions and taking crazy steps like the letter to Erdogan, like the action in Syria, there are so many of the, you know, towards the Kurds, the abandonment of the Kurds.

Like announcing flippantly I think nothing that they are going to violate the emoluments clause by awarding the G-7 summit to Trump Doral down the street from where I am right now in June when not even people from Miami want to be in Miami in June in the middle of hurricane season. So you know, he keeps doing things. And I really think it's important for Republicans to ask themselves, look, most presidents are on their best behavior the first term, particularly as they face a reelection.

And he is doing all these things with an election a little bit over a year to go. What will he be capable of doing when there is no break, when there is no stop, where he doesn't have to pass a reelection test, when he doesn't have to have, you know, anything that he withholds. When he can do clearly everything and anything he wants.

He has already shown by the action toward the Kurds that he doesn't give a damn about what Republicans in elected office think about him or say to him or do. He doesn't care. That's why he does what he does. That's why he is doing this with the G-7. So Republicans have to really ask themselves, is this what we want for the country for the next four years, should he get reelected? An unstable man who has no stop.

CABRERA: Let's turn to the Democrats. And an unusual turn of events involving former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and 2020 presidential candidate congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. This all started with some comments from Clinton. Listen.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary. She's a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.


CABRERA: Gabbard quickly fired back at Clinton.


REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is doing this because it's very clear to her that she knows she can't control me. That if I'm elected president, then she will not be able to come in and try to influence or manipulate me or the policies that I will lead forward for our country.


CABRERA: Keith, what's going on here?

BOYKIN: I wish I could tell you what's going on here. This is kind of a crazy side show to the Democratic primary.

CABRERA: It's like, where did it come from? I mean, on both sides, really. Why did Clinton go there? Why did Tulsi respond the way she did?

BOYKIN: Apparently there's bad blood between the two of them. I don't know what happened. But I know that at the most recent debate, Tulsi Gabbard made a comment about Hillary Clinton. I would agree with Hillary Clinton on anything except this one tiny issue of abortion. Maybe that upset Hillary Clinton. I don't know what started it all.

But the reality is Tulsi Gabbard has no chance of being elected president of the United States. She has no chance of being the Democratic nominee for president. Why anybody is talking about her is only because Hillary Clinton brought this up.

So I think the only big mistake Hillary Clinton did was talking about it. Nobody was even talking about Tulsi Gabbard before this conversation happened. She was like a nonfactor during the race. Nobody had given her any possibility of any hope of ever winning the nomination.

[16:10:14] CABRERA: And so now Tulsi Gabbard is fundraising off of this. She has a red bar at the top of her campaign Web site saying Hillary Clinton goes after Tulsi. What do you think, Ana? Will it help or hurt her?

NAVARRO: I think it's the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I mean, you have got a candidate who is, you know, a blip on the screen in a fight with a candidate who is not running. You know, and also, you know, it's the darnedest thing.

Hillary Clinton did not mention her name, Tulsi Gabbard's name, yet everybody immediately assumed the person she was speaking about, despite the fact there's five or six women still running in the Democratic primary, and everybody immediately assumed the person she was claiming getting groomed by the Russians was Tulsi Gabbard, you know.

So look, there's been a lot of chatter. There's been a lot of weirdness going on around this. I think Tulsi Gabbard is using it. You know, she is squeezing as much juice out of that lime as she can possibly do in order to use it for fundraising and to increase her profile. And it is what it is. But in the larger scope of things, to me it's just weird.


CABRERA: Well, and I just wonder whether it actually helps or hurts Democrats, for this to be going on. Here is what former Republican, now independent, congressman Justin Amash had to say about this feud.

Hillary does and did drive many people into the arms of Donald Trump. Her attack on Tulsi does likewise. In my district, Trump did worse than any Republican in modern times and still beat Clinton by a fair margin. Many Ds in the Midwest rejected her. I didn't vote for either one.

Keith, does he have a point?

BOYKIN: Well, I mean, he's still not a Democrat. He's a former Republican. But I don't think that anything in this controversy has any impact on the outcome of the nomination of the presidency, first of all. I think a lot of Democrats were skeptical about Tulsi Gabbard before. And that is part of the reason why is that as soon as the story came out, nobody even had to mention Tulsi Gabbard. Because everybody knew because this has been going on for months now.

CABRERA: But explain why it's been going on.

BOYKIN: Well, because she has a history of supporting Putin in Russia. She has a history of supporting Assad in Syria. She is aligned with Hindu nationalists. She is aligned with ultra right wing authoritarian figures, like Sisi in Egypt and other figures that are controversial that Democrats don't typically support.

In addition to that, she's supported by David Duke, even though she has denounced his support. She is supported by David Duke. She's supported by Steve Bannon. She was on FOX News. She went to Tucker Carlson last night on FOX News to beat up on Democrats. Why should anybody trust her?

Plus, she has an anti-gay past. She was not pro-choice in the past. Democrats have a lot of suspicions about her from the beginning. This is not new. Hillary Clinton just brought up something that really didn't have to be brought up because she really had no chance of winning.


NAVARRO: I also think a significant aspect of this is something that's been reported on recently, which is that there's a lot of, you know, reportedly, Russian bot activity, Russian troll activity surrounding the Tulsi Gabbard campaign. That doesn't mean she's in on it. That doesn't mean she's part of it.

CABRERA: And her campaign denies those allegations.

NAVARRO: Her campaign denies it. "The New York Times" or "the Washington Post" had an entire story on it recently. And you know, it seems -- I mean, to me, it's a little weird that people, very right- wing people, Trump-supporting people who until very recently were very critical of Tulsi Gabbard because of her position vis-a-vis Syria and Assad now support her. And now, you know, she is now a darling for these folk. That makes no sense.

I do want to say this. Tulsi Gabbard is also a veteran. She is somebody that has served the country. And so, you know, this just really makes no damn sense, none of it.

CABRERA: And I don't think we're going to make sense of it in this conversation.

Guys, got to leave it there. Anna Navarro, Keith Boykin, always appreciate you joining me. Thank you.

Senator Bernie Sanders back in full campaign mode after a heart attack and with a new endorsement this weekend. Is it enough to boost him back to front runner status?

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.




REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: The only reason that I had any hope in launching a long-shot campaign for Congress is because Bernie Sanders proved that you can run a grassroots campaign and win in an America where we almost thought it was impossible.


CABRERA: A major progressive endorsement this afternoon for Bernie Sanders' presidential bid. New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez giving the Vermont senator her support as he held his first campaign rally since his heart attack. Sanders told the crowd he is back.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am more than ready to assume the office of president of the United States.


CABRERA: Here with me now, CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategy Aisha Moodie-Mills and CNN Political Commentator and "New York Times" Op-Ed Columnist, Charles Blow.

So Aisha, what does Sanders gain? And what might be the risks that come with this endorsement?

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, I just want to kind of say, duh to the whole thing. I mean, I'm not surprised that AOC endorsed Sanders. I am surprised that she endorsed so early.

CABRERA: That's the other thing. Why now?

MOODIE-MILLS: Yes, it seems really early to me. I think why now is because they are trying to create this allure that his heart attack didn't slow him down. And so coming out of the gate with this big endorsement is a really big deal.

I do not believe that there's a whole lot of risk for Sanders in terms of this relationship because they're cut from the same cloth, right. Like she said, the reason why she got elected is because of the same values, principles, grassroots organizing, et cetera. And she has huge influence. I think it's the perfect marriage. I don't know that there's any risk there.

I'm not certain though it takes him any further. He's already killing the game on fundraising, right.



MOODIE-MILLS: So I don't know where that grows. And I'm not convinced that this suddenly brings in a new wave of people of color to support him.

CABRERA: And on that, I mean, is there broad appeal for somebody like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez within the party? Yes, she resonates a lot in New York, on twitter. What about in more rural parts of the country?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And that's the question, right? And the bigger question is how much the Republican, in particular Donald Trump's tarring of her as the enemy, actually does some damage. That kind of subliminal negative impact in your name -- associate your name with negative connotation. So that's a real thing.

But Bernie Sanders has a bigger problem, which is that he is a victim of his own success. He has basically transformed the Democratic Party.

CABRERA: And he would say, wait, why is that a problem?

BLOW: Right. A lot of the other candidates have absorbed a lot of what he was running on in 2016. And so, now there isn't a lot of space between him and the others. When he was running head to head against Hillary, there was a huge contrast between these two people.

You look at the field now, it's like a little Bernie like. A lot of them are Bernie like. And so now he has -- he doesn't a strong contrast. And so people can look at that field and say, well, I like a lot of what he said, but I can choose 12 other people.

MOODIE-MILLS: And 12 other people who are actual Democrats.

BLOW: Yes.

MOODIE-MILLS: He's always been independent, but he's also A democratic socialist. And I think there's an opportunity for contrast there too. And AOC as well identifies as being a Democratic socialist. And so that socialist word is going, I think, cause some challenges for him down the line.

CABRERA: Well, let's talk about the current front runners and perhaps some challenges they are facing right now, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. We saw Warren in the debates. Some have characterized her performance as a rough performance in the sense that she was facing all these attacks, and there were questions about how she handled some of those attacks, particularly when it comes to answering the question about Medicare for all and how she is going to pay for it and whether taxes are going to go up.

You also have Biden, you know, coming out with fundraising numbers and cash on hand that leaves a lot to be desired if you are in the race and not keeping up with many of the other candidates, his other opponents who are running right now in the primary.

And so, here's how they are responding right now. We have Warren now running a contest to grab beer and perhaps another beverage with her. You have Biden selling a t-shirt, jabbing at the President's refusal to release his tax returns. This also following all the Ukraine controversy. Do gimmicks like these work?

BLOW: In a campaign, you are going to do all that stuff. I mean, if you go back and look at any campaign, there's all sorts of weird things. I remember Jeb Bush was giving out, you know, trinkets in New Hampshire when he was like tanking, but he had a lot of money. He could afford to. So they do all sorts of things.

There is a real issue here, though, which is that Biden is hanging on for dear life. He is a front runner, I mean, depending on where you look at the polls. He and Elizabeth are trading spots. But at the moment, it's not in his favor. And you don't want the person who's losing the momentum and holding on for dear life. That is not an energetic campaign, right. The I'm holding on.

And Elizabeth Warren is charging forward. I mean, I actually didn't think -- I have heard a lot of commentators say they thought she kind of struggled. I didn't think she struggled at all.

MOODIE-MILLS: Me either.

BLOW: I don't think she struggled at all. I thought it's going to be rough for you. Whoever the front runner is at any point in the race, it's going to be rough for you. Can you parry all those attacks? Whether or not you answer it perfectly or not, she was parrying the attacks.

That's all it takes. That's all it takes in a debate, right? You can go back to your policy page on your Web site and figure out the policy and get another answer for the next time. There's a year ahead of us.

She is going to have to answer that question eventually. She will do it. But the fact she could stand there and take every one of those attacks from every one of those candidates and still look like she had it together, that was a genius performance to me.

MOODIE-MILLS: And here's the thing. Elizabeth Warren is not going to win the nomination on that stage. And when you go back to kind of the gimmicks and tricks, this idea of come get a beer with me, let me take a selfie with you, it's actually more than a gimmick. She's one of the few candidates that's actually connecting with people.

The politics at the end of the day are all about people and connecting with voters. And the reason why she's the only one who's surging is because she's out there in the streets. Her Iowa game is sick. She has saturated that state.

CABRERA: Months ago we were talking about how she had really worked the strategy as far as the ground game.

MOODIE-MILLS: Absolutely. It's all about that ground game. So you can give out as many t-shirts as you want and try to sell your swag, but if you are not talking to real voters.


CABRERA: Real quick on t-shirts for mentioning that. I mean, the Trump campaign has a new t-shirt out. I don't know if you have seen it. Get over it. You probably know what that's referring to. I'm not sure why they are trying to draw attention to that Mick Mulvaney press conference in which he admitted there was a quid pro quo and his answer was get over it. And then he walked it back and said, no, there was no quid pro quo. And now they are selling t-shirts.

BLOW: This is what they do, right. You remember the sharpie thing? They sold sharpies after he wrote on the hurricane map with a sharpie.


BLOW: What they do is they say, OK, you think this is the time. This is whole gimmick. Whatever you say we are doing wrong, we are going to do it in your face and say it's not wrong because we're doing it in your face, right. It's a fascinating kind of psychological technique, which is to say, you know, it can't be. If I don't hide it, it can't be wrong. If it was wrong, obviously I would want to hide it.

MOODIE-MILLS: I would call that gaslighting. Are you going to believe what I'm saying or what you see? That's exactly what that is.

I tell all the Democrats, though, don't mind his t-shirts and his craziness because he is appealing to his specific base. I think the Democrats need to run their own race. They need to figure out how to get their base turned out. And that's how they're going to ultimately bump Donald Trump, not buying into, you know, any reactionary moves and measures towards what he's doing or what he isn't doing.

CABRERA: Aisha and Charles, good to have you here.

BLOW: I want a t-shirt.

MOODIE-MILLS: It worked on you.

CABRERA: Good to see you guys.

Coming up, the crisis in Syria is escalating. Let's head there with a U.S. official now saying the cease-fire with turkey is not holding. We will have new details about the onslaught next.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Right now, in Syria, two U.S. officials have told CNN the cease-fire is not holding. We are told Turkish-backed forces broke the agreement Friday morning, just one day after the ceasefire was brokered over Turkey's offensive against Syrian Kurds.

The official telling CNN those Turkish-backed forces either acted on their own or the Turkish government simply didn't care. Both sides claim the other is violating the deal.

Earlier this month, President Trump announced U.S. troops were pulling out of northern Syria, and just days later, Turkey began its military offensive to force Kurds from that area. So we're staying on top of that story.

And many Republicans are standing by President Trump in the impeachment battle. But when it comes to his Syria policy, there's a break in the ranks.

With at least one top ally now turning on him, you might say Lindsey Graham's relationship status with President Trump is complicated.

CNN's Dana Bash reports.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lindsey Graham is frantic.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He's making the biggest mistake of his presidency.

BASH: Donald Trump is annoyed.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Lindsey should focus right now on Judiciary.

BASH: Lindsey Graham is warning about terror attacks.

GRAHAM: He will have American blood on his hands if he abandons Kurds because ISIS will come back.

BASH: Donald Trump doesn't want to hear it.

TRUMP: Lindsey should focus right now on Judiciary, like the Democrats, the do-nothing Democrats.

BASH: Listening to that, it's hard to believe Graham is one of Trump's most loyal allies. It's like a time warp, back to their campaign rivalry.

LINDSEY: I don't think he has the temperament or the judgment to be commander-in-chief.

BASH: Then, 2016 Graham warned voters about exactly what 2019 Graham is apoplectic about now, that Trump's promise to withdraw troops from the Middle East will make America less safe.

GRAHAM: For God's sakes, pick somebody who is worthy of the sacrifice of those who are fighting this war, and who actually knows how to win. And I don't believe that's Mr. Trump.

BASH: For Graham and Trump, it's complicated, very complicated. On abandoning the Kurds, U.S. allies against ISIS, Graham says he's holding Trump to the Obama standard.

GRAHAM: By assuming the Kurds are better off today than they were yesterday, that is just unbelievable. I can imagine if Obama said that, what Republicans would be saying now. So I'm going to say it with Trump. That is just unfair, dangerous.


BASH: But what if Obama called a foreign leader and asked for dirt on his political rival, like Trump did with Ukraine's president on Biden? It's hard to imagine Graham would say, no big deal, like he is now.

GRAHAM: This phone call is a nothing burger.

BASH: In fact, Graham is still staunchly defending Trump.

GRAHAM: Thank you very much, been a good hearing.

BASH: Even using his powerful role as Senate Judiciary chairman to backstop the president against the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

GRAHAM: I can do two things at once.

BASH: But that's not how the president seems to see it.

TRUMP: He ought to find out about what happened with Comey --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, what is the president's mood today, with regard to --

BASH: Trump seems almost disoriented, that Graham is not singularly focused on settling scores against Democrats.

TRUMP: What happened with President Obama? What happened with Brennan? That's what Lindsey ought to focus on. That's what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on.

GRAHAM: It's not about me and him. It's about the country.

BASH: Yet, it is about the two of them. Being close to Trump helps Graham, who is up for re-election in South Carolina, where the president has so much support, a top Graham aide calls it "Trumpistan."

Trump treasures Graham as a golf buddy and a navigator in the ways of Washington.

But we now know Graham's influence, his attempts to curb the president's isolationist worldview, has limits.

TRUMP: Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years, with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people's wars. I want to get out of the Middle East.


KEILAR: That was Dana Bash reporting.

Now, President Trump selects his own Florida resort to host the G-7 summit next year. The legal concerns around the president possibly profiting from the government he runs.


You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: With the entire U.S. to choose from, President Trump has decided that his own resort in Florida is the best place to host next year's G-7 summit, meaning essentially the president has awarded a no- contract bid to himself. And it's raising a lot of questions about whether foreign money could go directly into his own pocket.

According to "The New York Times," if Trump were any other government official, this would be illegal. The paper writes, "Officials are prohibited from playing even a minor role in a decision that directly creates a financial benefit for the employee or the employee's immediate family."

The catch here, these specific rules don't apply to the president or vice president, who are exempt.

I want to bring in Sophia Nelson, a former House GOP investigative committee counsel. She's also the author of the book, (INAUDIBLE).

Sorry. "Rediscovering our Founders' Vison for a United America.

I totally butchered your book there. Just say it for us.



CABRERA: I know. Good thing I don't have to talk for a living.

NELSON: You're funny.

CABRERA: Sophia, so given there's that rule that applies to everybody but the president or vice president, is the president in the clear here?


NELSON: Absolutely not. There's this thing called the United States Constitution. It absolutely applies to him, the Emoluments Clause. Now, I know a lot of people, this is a big word. In Latin. it means to profit or to gain.

The Emoluments Clause is found in two places in the Constitution, Article I and Article II. It's important that people understand that is has a domestic clause and a foreign clause.

In this case, Ana, he violates both of them. Doral is certainly a property here in the United States. It's certainly a domestic property, right?

Then you've got a G-7 meeting, which means heads of state from all around the world will be there. Their governments have to pay to come, just as our government officials will have to pay to come. The president benefits.

I know they're saying they're going to do it at cost and all these things, but that just doesn't fly. That doesn't work.

The fact is the Constitution addresses this. The founders thought about this. They didn't want foreign influence. They didn't want our president to have titles of nobility or gifts from foreign heads of state.

Certainly, on the domestic front, they didn't want the president to have anything other than his salary, which he donates to charity, as you know. So that's been kind of his argument as to why this is justified.

CABRERA: Let's talk impeachment now. After weeks of the White House denying there was a quid pro quo, acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, came out this weekend. He admitted there, in fact, was one. He then tried to walk it back.

If this were to go to trial in the Senate, could Mulvaney's statement be used as evidence, or does his walk-back clear everything up?

NELSON: I think there are any number of articles of impeachment that the Congress can bring against this president. Certainly, this issue about Ukraine, the call transcript, the quid pro quo, which means for people watching at home, I give you something for something. We do something for each other.

So I call up the president of Ukraine and say, hey, I want you to look into the Bidens for me. I have this $450 million you need. If you can do that for me, I can give you this money.

I think it's clear, Ana, from the testimony that's been given this week to the Congress with various members of the State Department, others who have left, et cetera, as well as Mulvaney's statements, I think there's a consistent pattern here that the president did, in fact, try to get dirt on his potential rival, the Bidens, as in Joe Biden, not his son Hunter, who happens to be the son. He's not running for anything.

But the point is, the president's admitted he's done it. Mulvaney's admitted it. You've got this testimony that seems to corroborate that he did it.

So I don't know what the problem is. I don't know why Congress hasn't impeached him. He should be impeached already, in my opinion.

CABRERA: Really? That leaves one official who testified every single day this week in this impeachment inquiry. We know Congress is still gathering facts.

One name that keeps coming up is Rudy Giuliani. We've learned now that a career diplomat testified back in January, Giuliani actually pushed for a U.S. visa for the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden and other Western leaders wanted fired. And when that visa was denied, Giuliani pushed the White House to get involved. Ultimately, a White House aide ended up siding with the State Department and saying no visa.

How significant is this?

NELSON: Ana, I think what you have -- and I'm going to use a phrase -- it's like a crime syndicate. I don't have a better way to put it. The president and his buddies and his friend, he's putting people in positions that have no qualifications.

Rudy Giuliani is running all over the earth on behalf of the State Department, cutting deals, doing things, giving advice to governments on security that he's not qualified to give, et cetera.

It's like it's the boys' club. They're winking and nodding. You do your thing, it's all good.

I think one of the great tragedies of this period that we have in our country -- and Rudy Giuliani is going to come out as one of the bad actors. It's a shame for someone who was the mayor of New York during 9/11 and someone we all respected.

I think he's in a lot of trouble legal. Apparently, there's an FBI investigation. There's a federal investigation. I think New York is looking at him.

He's in a lot of trouble. And this isn't going to turn out good for Rudy Giuliani at all. It's not.

CABRERA: Sophia Nelson, it's good to have you with us.

NELSON: Thanks.

CABRERA: Again, the book is "Rediscovering Our Founders' Vision for a United America."

Thanks again.


Coming up, hundreds of thousands marching in London after a major setback today in the Brexit battle. That story just ahead, live, in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: Protests in the streets of London as voters demand a do-over in whether the U.K. should in fact leave the European Union. The call for a second referendum follows a rare Saturday session of parliament in which the fate of Brexit faced yet another delay.

I want to bring in CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, who's following all the developments in London.

Nic, where do things stand as the clock ticks closer to that October 31st deadline, or is that also in limbo?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's a little bit in limbo. The prime minister, after that vote today, has to send a letter to the European Union, actually, in the next abut hour, asking for a three-month delay.

He said he's not going to negotiate with the European Union about a delay. He said that he will send that letter, as is required to by law.

So what does he really mean by that? Well, if any of the European leaders -- and the French leader has said he's not inclined to give an extension -- Boris Johnson is indicating he's in the going to pick up the phone and call the French president and say, hey, I need this extension.

The other thing that's going to happen is the legislation to get the deal through that Boris Johnson agreed last week with the European Union, he's going to put that to parliament on Monday. So they're going to get to vote on it. He might almost have the numbers to get it through.

So he may make that October 31st deadline. It's tight on the votes, and it's way tight to pass all the laws that he needs to before the end of the month. CABRERA: And so is Boris Johnson in a stronger position than Theresa

May was when it comes to Brexit?


ROBERTSON: Sure, that vote he lost today, lost it by 16 votes. She lost hers by 230, 149, and 58. So he's doing better on the score card.

The problem is that the one political party that can really turn this upside-down is opposed to the deal, and they're in Northern Ireland. They normally support him, but they don't support him now because, when he cut the new deal, he made a compromise on Northern Ireland, and they can't stomach it.

This is a big conundrum for him. And what happens in Northern Ireland in the coming week and a half will be really critical to the mood for getting the vote through.

CABRERA: OK. Nic Robertson, thank you

ROBERTSON: Thank you.

CABRERA: -- for filling us in on all of that.

We have new dramatic video now showing a coach disarming a student with a gun. Then there's another unbelievable moment you have to see.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera. Don't go anywhere.


CABRERA: Dramatic video of a high school football coach disarming a student who was carrying a loaded shotgun. This was back in May. A student brought the weapon into the Park Rose High School campus in Portland. That's in Oregon.

Keenan Lowe, who's also a security guard at the school, says his instincts kicked in as he lunged for that gun, which was loaded with a single round. Lowe continued to hug the boy as police arrived and other students ran.

Officials say he never pointed the gun at anyone other than himself. Officials say he made suicidal statements before bringing the gun on campus. He pleaded guilty to gun charges. Authorities say, as part of a deal, he will get mental health and substance abuse treatment. Wow.


CABRERA: New tonight, a scary moment on the field during a college football game. After the team's fourth touchdown, members of the Oklahoma Sooner spirit squad rode their famous wagon onto the field in celebration when, suddenly, it takes a sharp turn, tips over. You see the riders tumbling onto the field. Fortunately, the school says no major injuries. But, wow, scary situation there. A growing number of leading voices in the Republican Party are

sounding off against President Trump, including Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, warning that impeachment is inevitable.


CABRERA: Right now, the country continues to mourn the loss of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, who passed away this week at the age of 68. The body of the House Oversight Committee chairman will lie in state in the national statuary hall at the U.S. capitol next week. A formal memorial service is also scheduled Thursday morning, followed by a public viewing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi penned a touching tribute to Cummings in the "Washington Post," where she writes, in part, "In the House, Elijah was our north star. He was the leader of towering character and integrity who pushed the Congress and country always to rise to a higher purpose, reminding us why we are here."

"As he said, whenever he saw that we were not living up to our founders' vision for America and meeting the needs of our children for the future, we are better than this."