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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Judge Says Impeachment Inquiry Is Legal And Justifies Disclosing Grand Jury Material; Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) Is Interviewed About The Federal Judge's Ruling In The Impeachment Inquiry; Report: Criminal Division Of DOJ Now Looking Into Giuliani; Giuliani Accidentally Calls Reporter, Talks About Bidens; Trump Blames Pompeo For Hiring Top U.S. Diplomat To Ukraine; Anonymous Op-Ed Writer to Publish Book, Promises to Reveal Conversations with Trump; Rep. Katie Hill Sends Cease & Desist Letter Over Explicit Photos. Aired 7- 8p ET
Aired October 25, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Very good man indeed. May he rest in peace. May his memory be blessing.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, a major setback for Trump. A federal judge ruling the impeachment inquiry is legal giving Democrats a major boost as they move towards drafting formal articles of impeachment. Plus, the heat is on Rudy Giuliani, new tapes surfacing of him talking about the Bidens, it's on tape. Is Trump standing by him? And a freshman Democratic Congresswoman fighting for her political survival after explicit pictures of her and a campaign staffer come to light. What are voters saying in a crucial swing district? Let's go up front.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news.
A federal judge ruling the impeachment investigation into President Donald comp is legal. It is a big victory for Democrats and a big blow to President Trump. Today's ruling also gives Democrats access to secret evidence obtained by Robert Mueller in the grand jury.
Now, before the news broke, Trump went to his tried and true defense trying to dismiss the entire impeachment Inquiry as a --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was the worst hoax in the history of our country.
This is a hoax. It's a hoax.
This phony witch-hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Of course, every piece of information has shown the President of the United States tried to link military aid to a foreign country to getting dirt on a political opponent. Republicans' best defense therefore has not been on the facts. It has been on the process to slam it as unfair.
Just today, Lindsey Graham has really been the standard bearer for Trump on all of this, demanded the House vote to formally begin an impeachment inquiry. That formal vote would allow Republicans the power to call their own witnesses, completely muddy the water, makes this all about Hunter Biden.
But the problem is that argument has just lost all its legal steam. The judge ruling and I quote, "Even in cases of presidential impeachment, a House Resolution has never, in fact, been required to begin an impeachment inquiry."
So from a legal perspective, they're done. That inquiry can go on. That loses Graham's argument and it is coming at a very important turning point. The President's former National Security Adviser John Bolton is now in talks to testify according to a source.
If the testimony about a quid pro quo from Trump's top Diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor was a big game changer for some Republicans, Bolton's testimony could be game over for others. Remember that Bolton and Trump had a contentious relationship and then Trump humiliated Bolton.
They had a disagreement. He let Bolton come to work the next morning. They were going to talk it through and then he fired him by tweet. "I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House."
Bolton then, of course, since has trashed Trump behind closed doors and obviously he matters big time now. He was in the -- you know, he was in the room, he was on the call. And according to Bill Taylor, Bolton was concerned that a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president would be a disaster.
It makes it clear his firsthand account could completely blow up what Trump claims again and again and again. Here is just today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A perfect conversation with the President of Ukraine. This was a perfect conversation.
I have a perfect conversation.
The conversation has been perfect.
It's one conversation that I had with the President of Ukraine that was perfect.
This was a perfect conversation.
I had a perfect conversation with the President of Ukraine. Perfect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, how many times do you need to say it before you think somebody might believe it's true. It wasn't perfect. Everybody knows that. And while Democrats try and nail down details with Bolton, they're working around the clock because they're actually holding a rare deposition tomorrow with Philip Reeker who is a career foreign service officer as the deposition schedule continues.
Abby Phillip is out front live outside the White House. Abby, any response from the White House about this court ruling which obviously is a significant victory for Democrats and a blow for the President?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is very much so, but so far, nothing yet from the White House on this ruling that came just hours ago. But you can see how it further undermines the argument that they've been making that came directly from the White House Counsel's office, essentially saying to House Democrats that they do not believe the impeachment inquiry is valid.
And as a result of that, all of these witnesses who work in the federal government, work at the State Department did not have to comply with these requests to make depositions. So far even that letter had been unable to prevent some of these key witnesses from going to Congress, giving their depositions under subpoena.
This ruling further delivers a blow to that rationale, makes it much more difficult at a particularly challenging time for this White House. They have struggled to figure how to deal with this particularly from a communications perspective.
There are still ongoing disputes within the White House between the President's aides about how to approach this about whether to have a war room, about whether more than the President's tweets are needed in this case.
But this ruling perhaps makes it more likely that this impeachment inquiry will continue to move and move forward very quickly. In the meantime, the White House has not resolved a major issue, which is how are they going to respond. They seem content to rely on President Trump to do all of the responding on social media and in these gaggles where he repeats over and over again that he did nothing wrong, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Abby. Yes, I mean, it was sort of jarring, how many times he said the same thing today.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin who's on the Oversight and Judiciary Committees. And I appreciate your time tonight, sir. So the judge obviously handing you all a victory ruling you can go ahead with a formal impeachment inquiry. You don't need that formal vote in the House.
Of course, even though it was done in the prior to impeachment. It's rejecting that ruling arguments by the Trump --
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Actually the court corrects that --
BURNETT: Go ahead.
RASKIN: The court corrected that misimpression, which was circulated by the Republicans. I mean, the whole opinion is a devastating refutation of everything that the Republicans have been saying over the last few weeks.
First of all, the question of whether or not it's an impeachment inquiry is not up to the courts, it's up to the House of Representatives.
RASKIN: Under our rules. We set the rules for impeachment and we set the rules of the House. And so we've declared this an impeachment inquiry and we are proceeding on that, so it's not up to the Republicans to second guess it in court. It has a legal proceeding.
BURNETT: So it's completely off the table then? I mean, in terms of there's no way there is going to be a vote, now that you have this, you're just not going to do it.
RASKIN: We may or we may not. The point is it's up to the House of Representatives because of Article One which provides that we get to define the rules of our own proceedings and we have the sole power of impeachment. It's not up to the Senate, it's not up to the minority, it's not up to the courts, it's up to the House of Representatives.
And so the House of Representatives is conducting an impeachment inquiry. So look, but we know that all of these process complaints are a massive distraction from what America has learned, which is that the President undertook a campaign with the President of Ukraine to try to shake him down for cooperation in his campaign, giving him dirt on the Bidens and going back and reviving a discredited conspiracy theory about what happened in the 2016 campaign.
The courts are now overwhelmingly turning against all of these arguments that are being made by the Republicans and I think the whole country can now see the republicans are just trying to obstruct the progress of justice. One of the things that Chief Judge Beryl Howell was --
BURNETT: I just want to ask you one thing about that though, because obviously, yes, we know what the facts pointed to in the testimony that we've gotten thus far and Republicans have been going after the process and trying to avoid talking about those facts. That's fair.
But you have the legal court and you have the court of public opinion. And Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, as you know, was trying to go ahead with his resolution, condemning your whole process. He's got 50 co-sponsors in the Senate, which means a lot of people are supporting what he's doing who really think what the President did was wrong.
President Trump bragged about it today. Here he is, Congressman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I haven't even made a phone call, 50 out of 53. And they said, you get the 40, that's pretty good. You haven't done anything. But we're up to 50.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And I mentioned, Congressman, that even Republicans who have slammed the President over Ukraine aren't supportive of that. Even Mitt Romney says he would quote like to see a vote in the House and a more open process.
So in the court of public opinion, would you do better to have this be more in the light of day than you are?
RASKIN: Well, as long as everyone is conceding that it's perfectly lawful and constitutional what we're doing, undoubtedly there will be votes on the House floor. That's the only way that you get a resolution of impeachment. It's the only way that you can articles of impeachment moving forward.
But remember that it was the Department of Justice that made the decision that there was nothing there to see in the whistleblower's complaint, which is why there was no factual investigation done by the Department of Justice. That investigation was done in the Watergate case by Archibald Cox. It was done in the Clinton case by Kenneth Starr.
BURNETT: By Ken Starr, yes.
RASKIN: And so all of those materials were turned over, so we're doing the frontline factual investigation and all they're doing is throwing pizza parties in trying to obstruct and blockade the process. But I think that this case along with several others makes clear that we're doing precisely what we should be doing in order to pursue the impeachment of the President for very likely high crimes and misdemeanors.
So we hope that the Republicans will live up to their constitutional oaths and participate in the process rather than trying to shut it down. There are dozens of Republicans who have the right to be in that room and many of them were in that room trying to ask questions when these guys barged in and had their little fake civil disobedience, which by the way compromise National Security likely.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about John Bolton, because he's very important and I know you all are having Saturday depositions and you're trying to, it seems, certainly from the schedule, it's moving quickly and it's accelerating. We know that John Bolton's lawyers have spoken with House Committees about a possible deposition. Can you update us on that, Congress Raskin, on when this might happen? Will he testify?
RASKIN: I'm sorry, Erin, I cannot update you on that. But I just wanted to finish answering your question about the about what Senator Lindsey Graham did in terms of getting a statement by 50 of the republicans and the President bragged that 50 of 53. You think he'd be measuring it 50 of a hundred because that's the jury that operates not just the Republican members.
But in any event, the fascinating thing to me now is that rather than hurrying to get it over in the Senate, so they can act, the Republicans seem to be very nervous about what might happen in the Senate and they're trying to slow everything down in the House and put the pressure on us, I think, to slow our proceedings down.
We're moving at a very rapid, deliberate pace to get all of the evidence and to keep them from sandbagging us, but it seems as if there are a lot of those Republican senators who are getting extremely nervous precisely about the dramatic shifts in public opinion, where even Fox News are showing that a majority of Americans want to see the president impeached and removed or at least the inquiry go forward.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Congressman Raskin. I appreciate your time on this Friday night.
RASKIN: You bet.
BURNETT: And next, Rudy Giuliani caught on tape accidentally calling a reporter, pocket dialing and leaving minutes worth of messages from for private conversations he was having. What did he reveal? Plus President Trump slamming one of his top diplomats who laid out evidence of the quid pro quo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Here's the problem, he's a never Trumper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: New evidence of that. And a Congresswoman admits to a relationship with the campaign staffer, explicit pictures have surfaced. She has a crucial swing district. Will voters turn around?
BURNETT: New tonight, the criminal investigation into President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is getting bigger. Political reporting that the criminal division of the Justice Department in Washington is now looking into Giuliani. This as a source tells CNN investigators literally had to blow the door off of a safe to get its contents in the criminal probe into two of Giuliani's associates. Associates who, important to note, were helping Giuliani get dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
Now, President Trump knowing about this, doors blowing off of safe says he doesn't think he needs to be worried.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you at all concerned about the growing
criminal investigation into Rudy Giuliani?
TRUMP: I don't think so because I think Rudy is a great gentleman, he's been a great crime fighter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, former Republican Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Greg Brower, who was an Assistant Director at the FBI and a Republican State Senator in Nevada, former Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem, and New York Times Political Editor, Patrick Healy. Thanks to all.
So, Greg, how concerned should Giuliani be and Trump be about this investigation, which is now broadening in its criminal tenants?
GREG BROWER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, Erin, Giuliani certainly should be concerned. He is clearly the subject if not the target of an ongoing federal criminal investigation. And at a minimum, I guess, he ought to be a little more careful about what he is saying to people and accidentally emailing or texting to reporters, so, yes, he got to be very worried.
The President, I guess, will be in denial about Giuliani until he decides that he no longer remembers Giuliani and we'll hear that from him. But, again, as a former federal prosecutor, I would be the first to admit that if you're not on the inside of the investigation, you really don't know exactly what's going on or what the government's looking at. But clearly the government is looking at Giuliani for something right now.
BURNETT: All right. Look, it's a pretty incredible thing when you think of Giuliani himself and what his role used to be, obviously. I mean, Juliette, so Greg just referenced it but NBC News is reporting Giuliani had his phone in his pocket, unknowingly, then pocket dials an NBC reporter multiple times, which leads to multiple voicemails of Giuliani and conversation, he wasn't expecting anybody to hear it. OK, here's an excerpt from one of those calls from last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Tomorrow, I got to get you to get on Bahrain. You got to call --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) that, hold on, hold on (INAUDIBLE) --
GIULIANI: -- got to call Robert again tomorrow. Is Robert around?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rob? He's in Turkey.
GIULIANI: The problem is we need some money. We need a few hundred thousand.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: I mean it's the end of that. I mean, first, look, Giuliani
tells our Dana Bash, Juliette, that the voicemail doesn't show anything dishonest. It's not about Ukraine or the President. Look, who knows but let's just cut to the chase. This is the personal lawyer of the President of the United States who's operating as a shadow secretary of state at the President's behest in Ukraine and perhaps elsewhere talking about needing hundreds of thousands of dollars related to foreign countries.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Right. Yes, exactly. First of all, let's just remind everyone that Giuliani was put in charge of cyber security at the White House, so everything is actually starting to make sense.
I think that Giuliani's carelessness both in his public statements and then just moves like this may have been accidental shows, I think, a defendant or a President's counsel not quite in control of what His own narrative is.
And that's important because, obviously, Trump is very dependent on Giuliani not switching, not turning, not saying anything against him. Look, sometimes when things sound bad, they are bad, and then sometimes when things are bad, they're going to get worse.
And I think Giuliani just doesn't quite get the bull's eye that's on him right now with the federal prosecutors, and continues to insist that he go out to these other countries, talk to the Department of Justice. They'll be a light bulb at some moment with Giuliani and then the question will be what Trump is going to do with that.
BURNETT: I mean, Senator Santorum, I have to say, when you just take the basic things even hearing this, this is a person who's the personal or the President who's going around conducting foreign policy on his behalf in some countries, talking about some countries, maybe different countries, but other countries, when a lot of people around the world know what his role is and who he speaks for. And he's making money in conducting deals, I mean, it sounds wrong, doesn't it?
RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, 2012 & 2016: Look, I've known Rudy for a long time and for a long time, since he really got out of the last presidential race he was in back in '08, he's been a business guy. He's Giuliani Partners. And they've done a lot of business in this country and a lot of business overseas, a lot of security business, and they dealt with a lot of money.
When I heard that conversation, that's probably a conversation that Rudy's had a hundred times in the several years. So I didn't see anything --
BURNETT: Yes, but what about now when he's the President of the United States personal lawyer conducting foreign policy on his behalf.
SANTORUM: He's still a businessman. I mean, he still runs a business and so he's involved. BURNETT: That may be true, but I'm saying that's OK?
SANTORUM: Yes. I mean, absolutely, it's OK. He's got to make a living. I mean, I don't see that as an issue. I mean, he's been asked by the President to help him out on this particular thing. I don't know whether he's getting paid for it, not getting paid for it.
SANTORUM: It's certainly within his right and the President's right to ask him and his right to do something, but it shouldn't stop him from doing this other business and he said this had nothing to do with this and I believe him.
BURNETT: I'm not saying you did or didn't, I'm just saying at the very least and I don't know, Greg, am I being fair here or not? It seems to me that I would hope I would not do that. I would think that people are going to give me business and do things for me because I'm so close to the President of the United States and that that would be wrong.
SANTORUM: That half of the people in this town wouldn't work when the President comes into office.
BURNETT: Go ahead, Greg.
SANTORUM: So that's just the way it is in this town.
BROWER: Yes. I mean, out of context it's hard to know exactly what is going on in that conversation. It doesn't sound good, but we just don't know exactly what it means. But there's a lot of other Rudy Giuliani conversations and statements and context that if you put it all together, yes, it doesn't look good.
BURNETT: And Patrick, the other context here is you've got Rudy Giuliani, the President's lawyer, his phones in his pocket, pocket dialing a reporter and multiple private conversations are being picked up on voicemail. I mean, at the very least, that's a --
SANTORUM: I agree with that.
HEALY: Yes. I mean, this is not a discrete situation. A President of the United States usually would want, you would think his personal lawyer to be a lot more careful than this. But I mean, I think what you're seeing and what's really important here and what we can't forget here is that the President has empowered Rudy Giuliani to such a stature as kind of an advisor without portfolio to be making and pressing foreign policy with foreign governments that he may well have business in front of, business interests, the ability to make a few hundred thousand dollars here, a few hundred thousand dollars there.
And you have to ask where do ethics come into play here, where the conflicts of interest come in, where are the appearance of conflicts of interest and who's minding the store on that, who's regulating Rudy Giuliani because at least from a lot of the evidence that we've seen and from what John Bolton, from what people in the State Department have indicated is that he was sort of running around, doing the government's business as he saw fit, and the question is was he doing his own business at the same time.
BURNETT: All right. All of you please stay with me. Next, President Trump coming down hard on his own formal Secretary of State.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Everybody makes mistakes - Mike Pompeo, everyone makes mistakes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So what did Mike Pompeo say? Plus, The New York Times anonymous op-ed writer, the one is now promising to reveal private conversations with the President say directly from the President. So this is anonymous writer, this person who may still work for the President, a hero or a coward?
BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump blaming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for hiring Bill Taylor. Bill Taylor, of course, is the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, the one who testified this week that Trump had a quid pro quo for nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid in Ukraine in exchange for investigating the Bidens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He's a never Trumper and his lawyers are a never Trumper. And the other problem is --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did Mike Pompeo hired him?
TRUMP: Hey, everybody makes mistakes - Mike Pompeo, everybody makes mistakes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So he says Mike Pompeo made a mistake in hiring Bill Taylor, so it's interesting that Mike Pompeo today gave an interview in which he stuck with Bill Taylor. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I have talked about Ukrainian policy at some length and to take down corruption and how do you help the new leader there. President Zelensky, how do we deliver on America's national security interests, and he and I were full accord on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Full accord, even though the president says he made a mistake.
And, OK, this coming as another top member of Trump's National Security Council, Tim Morrison, is supposed to testify next week and back up Taylor's story about the quid pro quo.
Manu Raju is OUTFRONT.
And, Manu, look, these next few days are going to be very important for the president. You know, this week, there were a couple of days because of Elijah Cummings and there were not depositions, but we are fast and furious from here on.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. Tim Morrison's testimony, we are told from multiple sources will back up key claims from Bill Taylor's testimony from earlier this week, those claims that you mentioned that he said that he was told that President Trump sought to withhold Ukrainian military aid in exchange for investing in a public announcement that there be an investigation into a company that Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son served on the board of as well as to look into election interference, an investigation that could undercut the president hoped the Russian interference findings that the Russians helped President Trump in 2016.
Now, we are also told from multiple sources that he may not raise concerns about what the president did and there may be nuance in his testimony, but he will corroborate what Taylor said. Taylor referenced his name about 15 times throughout his testimony, even at one point saying that he had a sinking feeling after relaying a phone conversation the president had with the ambassador of the European Union in which he wanted the Ukrainian President Zelensky to go to the microphones and announce those investigations just as the push to release that aid to Ukraine was intensifying as there were concerns that aid was needed to combat Russian aggression and you mentioned, Erin, a busy week ahead. Even tomorrow, Saturday behind closed door, a top State Department official, he will be deposed to wrap up the fine parts of the closed-door depositions -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Manu, and everyone is back with me.
So, Juliette, Morrison, as Manu mentioned was cited 15 times in Taylor's opening statement. We understand he is going to corroborate what Taylor said. Morrison was on the call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President Zelensky. He is an important person.
How significant is it that he will back Taylor?
KAYYEM: I think it's significant just because we've seen from Taylor, Taylor's impressions of things that were occurring so Morrison sort of corroborates what we already know Taylor has said which seems really bad for the president as well as his team.
But at some stage, you know, I think our framing of what's going on sort of leads us in the wrong direction. We always -- we keep talking about smoking guns. I mean, we have so many smoking guns at this stage, it's, like, we're smoking, right? At this stage it's just everyone's corroborating.
I think the more interesting story about Morrison is his willingness to testify despite being told not to. It means that Pompeo has no control over the appointees.
BURNETT: He's defying the administration, yes.
KAYYEM: Defying Pompeo. And just turning to Pompeo quickly, so why did Pompeo do what he did in terms of defending Taylor? The reason why is because Taylor talked about regular and irregular diplomatic lying when it comes to Ukraine. The regular one is Pompeo and the State Department people. That's what Pompeo hopes we believe.
KAYYEM: The irregular line is Giuliani. So, I read that to say, Pompeo is essentially throwing Giuliani under the bus at this stage. He wants to be in the regular, legal path.
BURNETT: The regular channel.
KAYYEM: Not the irregular one.
BURNETT: So, Greg, part of what Taylor says involving Morrison in his opening statement. Quote: On September 7th, I had a conversation with Mr. Morrison in which he described a phone conversation between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump earlier in the day. Mr. Morrison said that he had a sinking feeling after learning about this conversation from Ambassador Sondland.
According to Mr. Morrison, President Trump told Ambassador Sondland that he was not asking for a quid pro quo, but President Trump did insist that President Zelensky go to a microphone say he was opening investigations of Biden, and 2016 investigations and President Zelensky should want to do this himself. You could call something whatever you want, but it often is what it is.
How damaging is this for Trump that Morrison would back this?
GREG BROWER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FORMER GOP STATE LAWMAKER: Very. As if Ambassador Taylor's statement and testimony wasn't clear enough, Morrison clearly was in the middle of this and will be able to connect whatever dots are not clearly connected already.
And, of course, you know, getting back to the president's comment about Taylor, there was no mistake. Ambassador Taylor has served his country with distinction for 50 years. He has done an outstanding job as most recently as acting ambassador to Ukraine, and last I checked, he's still the acting ambassador.
So, clearly, the secretary of state does not think it was a mistake to put him in that position, and so there's a huge disconnect, it seems to me, between the president and the secretary of state and that's really not sustainable. Something's got to break there.
BURNETT: I mean, you know, what do you make of that, Senator Santorum? Because here's the reality: Mike Pompeo is taking Bill Taylor's side. As by all accounts, he should. The president keeps trying to demean Bill Taylor and act as what he's saying is not true because he's a never Trumper.
I mean, what do you -- what do you make of that? This is a guy who served in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne. This is a guy who has served under every president since Ronald Reagan, who's an appointed an ambassador for the first time under George W. Bush, he goes in with his detailed statements and all of his notes and all the president says is he's a never Trumper trying to impugn his honesty.
SANTORUM: Well, I don't think we would expect really anything less from the president than to do that, but I think what we saw from Mike Pompeo was saying that he was a good public servant and with respect to the policies that they were trying to effectuate in Ukraine, that Bill Taylor was onboard. So, I don't think that's necessarily vouching for everything Bill Taylor says or his impressions of what was going on with respect to this situation.
And, you know, we talked about smoking guns and everyone says there are all these smoking guns -- you know, just forgive me for being a little bit suspicious. We've been hearing about smoking guns for two and a half years, and so far, we haven't seen any shots fired. So, all I'm saying is that we have testimony that has not been cross- examined or not -- we haven't been drilled down as to why he feels the way he does and as the prosecutor knows --
BURNETT: Let me just interject there --
SANTORUM: -- you have people with statements, and then when they come under pressure, it falls apart.
BURNETT: Rick, I just want to interject there and I'm not trying to are trying to push out the Republican Party line. It is happening behind closed doors and there are Republicans in the room. Every Republican in that committee is --
SANTORUM: We haven't seen those questions.
BURNETT: OK, I know, but they've been asking them. So, when you say there's no cross examining, every Republican in that committee in there is able to ask questions and do that. So, I just want the implication is not out there that there's not a Republican inside because that's false.
SANTORUM: Again, you know, we have members of Congress who's frankly, it's not their job. I mean, this is the Intel Committee.
BURNETT: But they've got lawyers in there doing their questioning.
SANTORUM: Again, I'm just saying the administration, if this impeachment goes forward which I believe it will, will have their opportunity to question these witnesses and I think you might see a little different story come forward.
BURNETT: Patrick, John Bolton, I want to get you in on this because he could be important, right? Taylor testified about a call that other members of the administration were on and he says that on this call, the call came up about there's going to be an Oval Office meeting with President Zelensky and it so irritated Ambassador Bolton, right, that there was -- according to Taylor, that there was a connection between investigations with an Oval Office meeting for Zelensky that Ambassador Bolton abruptly entered the meeting and directed Dr. Hill to brief the lawyers.
How important is Bolton? Will he be the John Dean or not?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He's very important, and when those of us who covered John Bolton over the years and watched him on Fox News and other outlets, it'll be very interesting to see kind of which John Bolton shows up here. I mean, the reality is, is that from what we've heard from the other witnesses that it sounds like John Bolton had grave concerns about what Rudy Giuliani was doing and was willing to be explicit about that and whether he was willing to connect dots and how explicit he is with the committees will be very significant. He'd be one of the major witnesses to be deposed.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much, as the depositions continue tomorrow.
And next, the senior Trump official behind the anonymous op-ed is vowing to expose him in his own words. So, who could anonymous be? Well, a former Trump cabinet official is OUTFRONT.
Plus, a rising star in the Democratic Party admits to an affair and explicit photos. But this all could boil down to a swing district turning Republican?
We'll be back.
BURNETT: Tonight, the anonymous op-ed writer who worked or works in the Trump administration, the person who called Trump petty and ineffective, has a lot more detail including personal conversations with the president. The back cover of the book that anonymous is putting out called "A Warning", states you will not just hear from me. You will hear a great deal of Donald Trump directly for there is no better witness to his character than his own words and no better evidence of the danger he poses than his own conduct.
OK. Someone who has a lot of experience with the president is former Secretary of Veteran Affairs, David Shulkin. The president fired him via tweet last year. Shulkin has written about his experience in the Trump administration in his new book, "It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country".
And I start there, Secretary Shulkin, because your book has your name on it. You wrote it. You have publicly criticized things in this administration. You know, we have seen multiple officials come forward and testify. They've all done so with their names other than the whistle-blower who, of course, should not have their name out there.
We don't know if this anonymous author still works for the White House or not, so, I will caveat this with that. But what do you think? You put your name on your book. Is this person brave, or a coward? What do you make of this whole anonymous part?
DAVID SHULKIN, FORMER SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I believe it's your duty to speak up and to talk about what you're seeing, particularly when governments as broke as it is. We need people to come forward and talk about what's happening, so, frankly, we can find solutions to return Washington so it works for the people. And I believe part of that is putting your name on something and being able to stand up behind your words.
And when I wrote my book, I had to go through it and make sure that every word in that was something that I believe immediate and I believe that's what we need.
BURNETT: So, do you have any guesses about who this anonymous may be? I'm sure you talk about it with your former colleagues.
SHULKIN: Yes, I really don't. Of course, you know I was in the White House a lot, in the Oval Office and there were many people that would come in and out.
But I would hope that if there's something important in this book that needs to be said, that somebody would stand up and put their name behind it.
BURNETT: So one thing that this person wrote -- you know, obviously, we don't know the book yet, but in the op-ed, you know, the one that was a year ago, just over a year ago, this person writes about Trump: The root of the problem is the president's amorality. The person goes on to describe Trump's leadership style as, quote, impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.
And then continues, Secretary, quote, meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails and engages in repetitive rants and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that we have to be walked back. Do you agree?
SHULKIN: Well, I think there's no doubt that the president's mind moves quickly, that the conversations change very rapidly. And one of the concerns that I always had when I worked in the administration was to make sure that he was getting the right information, that the information that he had was accurate because he is able to act on that information so quickly and often will make decisions very quickly. And so, if he gets the wrong information, that's where I'm most concerned. BURNETT: So, you write about the events in Charlottesville in your
book. You wanted to condemn hate and you didn't want to become the target of the president's ire and you didn't want to lose your job that you care deeply about. So, you were very torn, you ultimately decided to speak out and to say that you needed to say something, even if it did mean that you will get fired. But it was -- I know, internally, a tough moral decision.
My question for you now, Mr. Secretary, if one of your friends, someone you deeply respect is offered one of the five cabinet positions right now currently open or with an acting, would you tell this person to take that job?
SHULKIN: I can't imagine not wanting somebody who could help this government not going. I would tell them I'm proud if they would consider going. But I would tell them my advice, it's not likely to end well, and you have to be prepared for that. When you work for the president, you work at his pleasure, and that could be any day you could be relieved.
And secondly, if you go to Washington, you better be prepared to stand up for your principles, and you simply can't be subjected to the political gamesmanship that's going on. So if you're not prepared to stand up for what you believe, then I don't believe you belong there in this environment.
BURNETT: So, to be prepared to quit or be fired?
SHULKIN: Absolutely. You have to be prepared for both, and you have to be focused on the reason why you went there. If it means that you quit or you're fired, so be it.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Secretary Shulkin. And, again, your book, "It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country". As you said, your name is on it and you own everything you say.
BURNETT: Thanks so much.
And next, she's a rising star who flipped a Republican district. So, now, there's news of an affair, explicit pictures. It's all very sordid. The big question, though, is -- will it put that district back in Republican hand?
And remembering the man called the mentor of the House.
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BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.
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BURNETT: Attorneys for freshman Congresswoman Katie Hill of California have sent a cease-and-desist letter to "The Daily Mail", which posted nude photos purported to be of her. Now, the freshman Democrat has admitted to having a relationship with a campaign staffer and is facing House ethics investigation, and a separate allegations that she had an inappropriate relationship with a congressional staffer.
Now, Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT in Los Angeles.
And, Kyung, look, obviously this whole thing is sort of sorted and salacious and there is all that aspect to it. But what it boils down to is her district. She turned it, you know, Democrat, it's a swing a district.
You went to talk to voters today. What did they tell you?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, what we wanted to see is how is it actually playing out with the people who are going to go to the polls? So, we spent the entire day in the 25th district, talking to a variety of people across the district.
And I want to start with what the Democrats thought. These are her supporters. We actually met people who volunteered for her campaign. Here's what they say.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Disappointment. Big disappointment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm disappointed because it puts her at risk I think, which is to me the most important thing, and because we invested a lot in her and would we lose the seat to the Republicans again. I don't know. I'm not saying would, hopefully not. But it just doesn't help.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As long as she's doing what we put her in office to do, that's all I care about. I'd rather have someone have something than rather F our country.
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LAH: You know, those Democrats were very happy that they were able to flip this seat because it's been Republican-held since the early '90s. They say they will volunteer should Hill seek reelection and she has said that certainly she's not derailing any of her plans in seeking reelection later in 2020.
But listen to what the Republican said.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looks like this all-American girl, you know, and people like her. She has this appeal about her. LAH: Do you think this district flips back to the Republicans?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope so, yes. I think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: So, Republicans sensing an opportunity, but, Erin, we need to stress that this again will be a hard fought district and a purple district. And I should mention, too, that I spoke to a lot of people who simply didn't know anything about it -- Erin.
BURNETT: Oh, well, I'm sure that sparks some Google searches then.
All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much.
And next, the nation paying tribute to a public servant who was beloved by many, Congressman Elijah Cummings.
BURNETT: Two former presidents eulogizing a giant in the House of Representatives today. Longtime Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland died last week due to longstanding health challenges. He was venerated by so many, Democrats and Republicans. He was 68 years old.
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OBAMA: Elijah Cummings came from good sword. And in this sturdy frame, goodness took root.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: We should hear him now in the quiet times at night and in the morning when we need courage, when we get this story that we don't often can believe anymore, we should hear him.
OBAMA: Being a strong man includes being kind.
That there's nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There's nothing weak about looking out for others.
There's nothing -- there's nothing weak about being honorable. You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.
CLINTON: No matter how hard he fought and how passionately he argued, he tried to treat everybody the way he wanted to be treated, the way he thought America to be treated. You know, you can't run a free society if you have to hate everybody you disagree with.
OBAMA: May God bless the memory of the very Honorable Elijah Cummings. And may God bless this city and this state and this nation that he loved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us.
"AC360" begins right now.