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Ambassador Philip Reeker Arrives On Capitol Hill To Testify To Congress In Impeachment Inquiry; Federal Judge Rules Current House Impeachment Proceeding Constitutional; Judge Orders Redacted Grand Jury Testimony In Mueller Report Be Handed Over By State Department; Electricity Cut To Some California Residents Due To Wildfires; Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) Is Interviewed About Impeachment Inquiry And Increasing Federal Budget Deficit; Nationals Lose To Astros In First Home Game In World Series. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 26, 2019 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning, 10:00 on the dot here on a Saturday, October 26th. We are so grateful to have you. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in Victor Blackwell. And you are in the CNN newsroom.

PAUL: So first up this hour, the impeachment probe.

SAVIDGE: Ambassador Philip Reeker is expected to testify less than an hour from now. He is a career diplomat and the top State Department official who oversees U.S. policy in Europe and Eurasia. We are live on Capitol Hill.

PAUL: And in California, 2 million people could have their power cut as the state takes extreme measures now to stop devastating wildfires from spreading. Our Lucy Kafanov is there.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're in the heart of California's wine country where firefighters are battling blazes, and the worst is yet to come. Dire predictions of 80-mile-per-hour wind gusts this evening, this weekend. Residents here bracing for impact.

SAVIDGE: And after a huge night in the World Series, the Houston Astros are hoping the team can pull off another win.

PAUL: First, though, let's talk about this federal judge who has ruled that the impeachment inquiry is legitimate. This is seen as a major victory for the Democrats, hurting the president's constant claims that it is a scam, some believe.

SAVIDGE: The same judge also ordered the Justice Department to give Congress grand jury information that had been redacted from the Mueller Report. She ruled that the information is in the public interest and it should be released. PAUL: Covering this from all angles this morning, Kristen Holmes is

at the White House, Suzanne Malveaux on Capitol Hill. We want to start there. So Suzanne, we know you're waiting to see if Ambassador Philip Reeker is showing up for his scheduled testimony. I know it's expected to start in just about an hour from now, but what is the expectation of what they will be able to get from him?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. We actually did see the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, already arrive about five minutes ago. So we know that they are preparing the room for the testimony, but we are still waiting for the ambassador's arrival.

What we do expect here is that it's not necessarily going to be any bombshells because some folks at the State Department do believe that he is going to go over some of the same ground that they already learned through the phone calls and through the transcripts and lots and lots of testimony from previous witnesses. But the reason why he is important, he is a top deputy to Secretary Pompeo.

He is described as being a problem solver, but also someone very much plugged in when it comes to discussions with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine -- they've known each other for decades -- and some other discussions that they know about through State Department records and documents that they have received. One of them is the fact that his subordinate George Kent had testified that they believe there was a smear campaign against the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and that Reeker actually agreed with him, that he, too, was concerned about it and that he tried to shield her from it, saying, calling it kind of a fake news type of conspiracy against her. So what did he do about this?

And how did he think it came about that this was taking place? The second thing that he has also divulged is he, too, was concerned about the role of Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, but he had suggested to his subordinate, again, let it go.

Don't push that. Why did he feel that way? Was he intimidated? Who might have been behind that? Those are the kinds of questions they'll be asking. And Christi, you are absolutely right, the House Democrats are now emboldened by that decision from the federal judge that says, yes, this is a legal and legitimate exercise.

SAVIDGE: All right, Suzanne Malveaux monitoring things on the Hill for us this morning, thanks. We will stay in touch.

PAUL: I want to go to Kristen Holmes now at the White House now. The president, we understand, celebrating Ivanka and Jared's wedding anniversary last night at Camp David. If you follow him on Twitter, though, he didn't look so happy. What's going on?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. You might not know he was even at a celebration if you were following him on Twitter. He was ranting all night long, a lot of it about this impeachment probe, calling it a scam, saying once again his call with the Ukrainian president was perfect. And he was up and at it again today. I'm going to read what he

already has put out this morning. He says, the Ukraine investigation is just as corrupt and fake as all of the other garbage that went on before it. Even shifty Schiff got caught cheating when he made up what I said on call.

Just to clarify here, what he is talking about in this moment is when Adam Schiff was discussing the call during an open briefing and he paraphrased it. President Trump has really latched on to that, saying that he was lying about it. Not sure exactly what he means there by cheating.

[10:05:07]

He followed this up with several other tweets. He attacked Nancy Pelosi, her district in San Francisco, he quoted a FOX News pundit. So none of this seems out of the ordinary, but what is important to note is the timing of all this. This is coming as the White House aides and congressional Republican allies on the Hill are trying to come together to work on a strategy, on messaging for this impeachment probe. We know that there was a lot of concern after that Mick Mulvaney disastrous press conference, and since then there have been numerous calls, there have been meetings up here at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

And with all of that, House Republicans have taken matters into their own hands and leadership sending out daily talking points to keep everyone on message. But here is what is important. If the president is not on board, then none of this matters. If he is going to continue to lash out on Twitter, if he's going to continue to really put forward these attacks and not focus on the process, which is what we know that Republicans are hoping that he'll focus on, hoping that he'll hone in on, then none of this is going to matter. Again, it's just the president talking directly to his base with all of this other strategy kind of in the wind.

SAVIDGE: Kristen Holmes at the White House for us. Thank you very much for that update.

Let's bring in now Molly Ball, national political correspondent for "TIME," and CNN presidential historian Jeffrey Engel.

And Jeffrey, you said that Republicans should be careful what they wish for when it comes to bipartisanship in this impeachment probe. What do you mean by that?

JEFFREY ENGEL, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, the Watergate hearings really give us a great example of how bipartisanship and partisanship played to both sides. For the Democrats, who of course were in the majority, they really tried and stressed bipartisanship, which is to say whenever they had a question, whenever the Republicans asked for a witness or for more time or for more hearings, the answer was always yes from the chair of the committee, because they wanted to essentially give a national sense of bipartisanship for the entire procedure. However, one of the key pieces of evidence that came out from those

hearings actually came out in private from one of the Republican lawyers, which is to say the first time they received confirmation, this is the Watergate inquiry, received confirmation that there was in fact a taping system in the White House that the president used came from a question asked from a Republican lawyer, who was there in order to essentially make sure both sides were taking part. After it was discussed in private, it was then discussed in public so that the entire world could see, but the actual piece of information was developed purely by bipartisanship.

PAUL: So Molly, this ruling by the judge I think to a lot of people legitimizes this process, and basically says what you are doing is legal. This is the correct protocol. With that said, is there a real understanding in the White House and amongst Republicans that perhaps the president could be in real trouble here?

MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes and no. I think amongst Republicans there is a lot of worry. But the question is, does the president himself realize it? And, as usual, and as you were talking about at the White House earlier, the president is not someone who stays on message or goes along with the communication strategy. And he is someone who very much has been in his bunker lashing out at everyone.

So does he realize that he's really in danger here, or does he just see this as yet another one of the sort of cycles of the conspiracy against him, the witch hunt that he's been painting the picture of since basically day one? And so I think we don't really know that, but that's what makes a lot of Republicans nervous is that the president is so unpredictable and they're not sure how seriously he's taking this whole thing.

SAVIDGE: Jeffrey, what about the president, his claim of executive privilege?

ENGEL: Well, that is something of course that goes back to the very start of the country. Every president wants to have as much flexibility and as much secrecy as possible with how they conduct their actions. President Washington, in fact, was the first, obviously, to exert executive privilege.

But his initial attempt to exert executive privilege I think is very insightful for us, because Washington said, essentially, I need to have absolute control and absolute secrecy over my dealings with foreign countries in order to make diplomacy work. Therefore, I need executive privilege. However, he then said, unless the inquiry is about an impeachment. The Constitution he was arguing clearly said an impeachment hearing, basically, if you will, trumps everything else.

And so consequently Washington recognized that impeachment was something that really was more important than executive authority because the entire point of having an impeachment was to check executive authority. So he thought in that case all the files should be opened up. PAUL: I want to read something from "The Washington Post" today,

Molly. It says, "President Trump and his closest advisers now recognize that the snowballing probe poses a serious threat to the president and that they have little power to block it." That's according to multiple aides and advisers as we were just talking about.

[10:10:05]

But I'm wondering if you get the sense that President Trump, if they are just hoping to get through and beyond 2020 with all of this, to kind of put this off while at the same time Democrats have the struggle of trying to expedite this. They had a key date of the Thanksgiving holiday that they wanted to try to wrap this up. Neither one of those look like they might happen.

BALL: Well, and what that means is that it's going to be somewhere in between, right? There is more than a year until Election Day 2020. A year is a very long time.

And I think it is correct that that initial very fast timeline that the House Democrats had set for this process of ripping off the band- aid and having it all done before the end of this calendar year, that looks very unrealistic in part because they have been so successful, because they have gotten so many witnesses giving them so much information and also giving them more leads in other directions that they want to pursue, although at some point they will have to cut it off and say this is as much as we want to deal with. And there are so many things that they could be looking into and then they want to present it to the public as well.

So I do think that it is dawning on the White House, though, that a year is a long time, and you can't put all of this off for an entire year. I think this judge's ruling especially points to the fact that even if your legal strategy is delay, delay, delay, and bottle this up in the courts so that you don't have to disclose anything, at some point that comes to an end. At some point you are forced to disclose, and that point is very likely to be in less than an entire year.

PAUL: All righty, Molly Ball, Jeffrey Engel, we appreciate you both being here so much. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Good to see you.

ENGEL: Good to see you.

PAUL: We are speaking with Republican Congressman Ted Yoho as well. You're going to get his thoughts regarding this federal judge ruling that the impeachment probe is legitimate, also talking about U.S. military vehicles moving back into Syria this morning.

SAVIDGE: Plus, strong winds and extremely dry conditions, Officials in California are concerned that could fuel dangerous wildfires that are already raging in that state right now. The latest on the new evacuation orders and power outages that could affect millions. PAUL: And we saw something in our nation's capital last night that

hadn't happened in 86 years. It was not the result Nationals fans were looking for, Andy. Andy might be doing a happy dance though.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, I tell you what. Astros fans leaving the stadium last night, the few that were here, happy. Nationals fans not so much. Their first World Series game in this city since 1933. It's supposed to be a party. But the Astros ruining that fun. I'll show you how game three unfolded coming up.

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PAUL: Let's get back to our top story here, the House impeachment inquiry. It passed a key federal court test when a judge declared the inquiry legitimate. The same judge ordering the Justice Department to hand over redacted material from the Mueller Report.

Let's bring in Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho. He's on the Foreign Affairs Committee. And Congressman, thank you for being here. We appreciate seeing you. So for weeks --

REP. TED YOHO, (R-FL): Great to be here, Christi.

PAUL: Absolutely. The president has called this inquiry a sham. Wondering what your reaction is, first and foremost, to this new ruling.

YOHO: Well, this new ruling I don't think has any bearing whatsoever. We've always said it's not unconstitutional to have the inquiry. It's just unprecedented with what they've done in the past when you look at, I think it was 1974 with Richard Nixon and 1998 with Bill Clinton, it was always brought to the House floor and let members of the House, the House of Representatives who are in charge of impeachment, House of Representatives to move forward. This bill was never brought up, and it was one sided.

So it's moving forward. The information is going to come out, and we'll see where that information goes. And I think we'll see what is going on right now kind of disappear like the Adam Schiff was saying. We had irrefutable information that Trump colluded with the Russians, and that went away and it's no longer talked about.

PAUL: So you portend this is going to fade away into nothing?

YOHO: I think so. If you look at the smoking guns that was -- everybody was so hyped up with Ambassador Taylor at the beginning of the week, and then now it's not hardly being talked about because his information was -- he wasn't in the room. He wasn't on the phone call. And he got his information from Ambassador Morrison who was not in the room, who was not on the phone call, who got his information from Ambassador Sondland, who could have -- you don't know what he told them or how -- did he exactly say what the president said? So it was all circumstantial and hearsay. So until it's verifiable

facts, I'm not too worried about it. And I'd make a prediction -- three weeks from now the smoking gun that everybody was so fired up this week about won't even be talked about.

PAUL: I believe Tim Morrison was on the phone call if I remember correctly, based on some of the reporting that we've seen. But, yes, we'll just wait and see what happens. I know that Senator Lindsey Graham said all but three GOP senators have signed on to this resolution condemning the House inquiry. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah. They haven't signed the bill yet. What do you think is holding them back?

YOHO: You'd have to talk to them. I don't know what reasons they are. I think Senator Romney said he was looking into it. He wanted to get more information. Those are all personal decisions, and with the 50 that have signed on and Vice President Pence, they could move this forward.

PAUL: OK, let's talk about Syria here, because you are on the Foreign Relations Committee, and CNN crews have seen U.S. military vehicles on the roads. What can you tell us about the plan for some of these mechanics going back into that region?

YOHO: Well, I think the plan is, there is so much chaos in Syria, you know, nobody has real direct control over Syria. And what happened before when ISIS was ramping up because of the pull back from the previous administration, they were allowed to train in Libya, the recruitment camps and the training camps.

[10:20:05]

They went into northern Syria. They took hold of that oil, and that's what they were using to fund a large portion of their operation. Nobody was guarding that oil, and so President Trump pulled out the 38 troops in northern Syria between Syria and Turkey. And he didn't want to leave that oil, through his general's advice, they don't want to leave that oil unprotected.

And Syria apparently doesn't have the capacity to protect that. And until somebody comes up and says, all right, we're going to protect this, make sure it doesn't fall in the wrong hands, I am all for him staying there. But I'm also for getting out of Syria as quick as we can, all U.S. troops. And we need to provide some cover for the Kurds.

PAUL: You say we need to provide cover for the Kurds. We talked earlier today with former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West, and here's what he had to say. This is a man who has been in combat. Let's hear what he had to say about the mixed messages from the White House about Syria.

YOHO: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BING WEST, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE UNDER PRESIDENT REAGAN: The troops will always hold the line, as General Mattis says. It is not so much to me the troops themselves. It's who's going to fight with us if we walk away from them? And how many of our enemies will look at this and think, well, the United States, they're not so tough. When the tough gets going, they're no longer there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Are you concerned about our allies having confidence in the reliability of the U.S. to be there when it counts?

YOHO: I think number one, I think what that person just said is irresponsible. The American military, our American war fighter is second to none on the planet, and he makes it sound like they're almost an afterthought, or somebody not to be taken seriously. And I find that pretty offensive.

When you talk about our allies, where are the rest of the allies? Why is America the one in the forefront of this? I know we have American leadership around the world, but this is a situation that ISIS is not just an American problem. It's a world problem.

All these countries should be in there protecting these oil fields, and they should be making sure that the ISIS fighter does not reconstitute the caliphate and move like they did before. I never want to see people being beheaded on TV again, and that's something all nations should come together and make sure this doesn't happen.

PAUL: Real quickly before I let you go. The federal deficit report this morning that the 2019 budget is now $984.4 billion as the federal deficit. It's the highest in seven years. The Trump administration and the Congressional Budget Office is projecting it is going to hit a $1 trillion this year. Is there a plan, congressman, to try to reduce that deficit that the president in 2016 promised he would eliminate?

YOHO: If we're focused on impeachment and we do all these other things, we're not focusing on those things that really matter. Our national debt is one of our biggest risks to this nation. And we need to address that, whether it's this president or the next president. If we do not deal with our national debt, that debt will deal with this country in the form of austerity measures.

So we need to look at the things that are driving that -- 70 percent of our spending is mandatory, meaning Congress never weighs into this. In the budget fights we only deal with discretionary spending. So until we come together as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats, but come together as Americans and say we have to reform these programs, and if we do it now we'll have time to correct this. But if we don't, that debt is going to be an urgency and it will be a crisis.

In fact, I just introduced a Social Security Disability Insurance reform that would save approximately $118 billion over 10 years. And it's not so much the amount of savings. It's the longevity of the program that will expand so that this debt will come down. And so there's more programs like that that we're looking at. The Republican Study Committee has got a great healthcare bill coming out, so these are things will reduce our debt.

PAUL: Congressman Ted Yoho, appreciate you taking time for us today. Thank you, sir.

YOHO: Yes, ma'am. You have a great day.

PAUL: You, too.

SAVIDGE: A fire emergency in northern California, new evacuations under way, power outages possible for more than 2 million. A live report from near the scene of the fire, that's up next.

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[10:28:39]

SAVIDGE: Weather in California today could make it tougher, even more difficult than what firefighters have been battling with for the past couple days. Major wildfires are now burning across the state. The fears are that the strong winds, the dry conditions, they could fuel the flames. And it's leading to new evacuation orders in northern California. More than 2 million people could have their power shut off this morning as a precaution.

PAUL: CNN's Lucy Kafanov is near the scene of the Kincade fire. This is in Geyserville, California, this morning. Lucy, good to see you. How are things and how are people there?

KAFANOV: I wish I could say good morning to you guys, but it's not a good morning here in the heart of California's wine country. Those blazes continue to rage, and you can see the destruction that they leave behind. This was somebody's home. There is a stove behind me, the burnt out remains of this person's house. A car over in the distance. The only thing standing, in fact, are the vineyards behind me.

Some updated numbers for you guys. More than 25,000 acres have been scorched, the blaze only 10 percent contained. Firefighters still struggling to get it under control. And there's nearly 24,000 structures threatened. And the worst, guys, unfortunately, is yet to come. Dire predictions of 80-mile-per-hour wind gusts predicted for this weekend, that could really set this blaze out of control. And firefighters told me yesterday they don't know which direction those winds will blow, and that means they have to be prepared to go anywhere and everywhere.

[10:30:06]

What is really striking to me is the contrast in the way this fire actually affected homes. This place behind me completely burned out. Some home owners were more lucky. We went back with one very lucky man whose fire was saved in the nick of time. Take a listen to what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRIAN SPIERS, GEYSERVILLE HOMEOWNER: It's all completely burnt. And the bark of the landscaping is what I think caught fire, because you could see it just spread both directions. And then this structure caught on fire. You could see the fire department pulled the siding off. All their hoses are still here. It looks like they put the fire out quickly and went to the next stop. So I do think had they not been here I probably would have lost certainly this structure and quite possibly all of the structures.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: And it shows that if home owners take every precaution there is still no guarantee. He was lucky, the guys here not so much. PG&E, the state's largest utility, is warning that it's going to potentially shut off more power to prevent this from getting worse. Nearly 2 million customers could be affected. And of course there is some speculation it could have been one of their transmission lines that sparked the fire. The utility is now investigating that, guys.

SAVIDGE: Wow, 24,000 structures threatened today. Lucy Kafanov, thank you very much. That guy was very lucky.

PAUL: Yes.

So one of the questions today, will Republicans back off their attacks on the House Democrats' impeachment probe now that a federal judge has legitimized the process? We're going to talk about it next. Alice Stewart, Kurt Bardella.

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[10:35:41]

SAVIDGE: There was a question as to whether Philip Reeker was going to show today. We understand that he has just made an appearance up on Capitol Hill. He is testifying today, a rare weekend testimony, as part of the impeachment inquiry. And again, he is expected to be a significant voice. Whether there are any bombshells, there's debates on if he has got any major information to reveal. It could be just in the process of verifying information that has already been brought forward so far in the inquiry, but we're going to pay close attention and bring you more when we have it.

PAUL: He is set to appear before all three House committees today, so we will be watching that for you.

But a federal judge has just legitimized the House Democrats' process despite Republican outcry, and has ordered the Justice Department to release grand jury information from the Mueller Report to the House Judiciary Committee. All of this part of the impeachment inquiry again. Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist with us now, and Kurt Bardella, political commentator, columnist for "USA Today" and former Breitbart spokesman. Good morning to you.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Christi. SAVIDGE: Let me get started with -- Alice, let me start with you. On

this ruling that has come down from the judge, we just had Republican Congressman Yoho on, and he was sort of downplaying, saying this really doesn't really change the speaking points for Republicans. They didn't claim that this proceeding was unconstitutional. They just don't believe it's been run fairly. Do you think this knocks the wind out of a lot of the arguments that Republicans have been making that this is not a legitimate inquiry?

STEWART: Martin, I don't think so. Look, this was to be expected. To be honest, this was an Obama appointed judge that made a ruling many people anticipated this was how it was going to come out. It's not going to change the dynamics that we're currently facing.

Democrats will continue to move full speed ahead with their impeachment inquiry and their process, and Republicans will continue their efforts full speed ahead with trying to slow things back, roll it back. The president, as we've seen through his Twitter feed today and the past several weeks, will continue to try and delegitimize the process.

But I think moving forward the Republicans would be best to sit back, engage in full transparency, put the information out there, and let the process play out, and focus instead on other issues that Americans are concerned with, certainly jobs and the economy, because, like it or not, the impeachment train is rolling down the tracks no matter what they do about it.

PAUL: Kurt, if they don't have this wrapped up, if Democrats don't have this wrapped up, say, by the end of the year, at what point do they possibly start considering abandoning that and looking at 2020? Do they do that?

KURT BARDELLA, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, USA TODAY: I don't think they do, Christi. And I think the reality is this. Unlike the Mueller probe where we had this long period of time where no one really knew what was going on, with impeachment what we're seeing is by the nature of having all these witnesses and these depositions, we are getting new information in real time almost every day about how this inquiry is progressing.

As long as Democrats have that information to kind of feed out there, drive the narrative, put the administration on the defensive, they can sustain this as long as they need to. I don't think that they need to have an artificial timeline to try to control this investigation.

When I worked at House Oversight for Republicans during the Obama years, remember, we had Fast and Furious which went for three, four years. The Benghazi investigation went for four years. An IRS investigation that went for three years, all of which also crossed over through political election cycles. And that was never the consideration for us to try to stop or slow things down. So I think Democrats would be making a mistake if they allow any type of artificial, political timeline dictate how they are conducting the impeachment inquiry. SAVIDGE: Kurt, do you think there is anybody out there that really

knows how this is playing with the electorate and how it will play out, say, if we get into the primary season and votes are being cast and this is all playing out, is it going to help the Democrats, is it going to hurt Republicans, could it hurt Democrats and help Republicans?

BARDELLA: Here's what we know about the primary process. The base of the Democratic Party, they want this president impeached. They are full-throatedly supportive of impeachment. And I think the enthusiasm for that is not going to change. Actually, if Democrats were to abandon impeachment, I think that would really hurt them with enthusiasm with the base.

Looking ahead to the general election, listen, I don't think any of us really knows how something is going to play a year from now. We live in a news cycle that changes every other day, that never ends, and the idea that any of us can sit here and tell us that 12 months from now something happening in December or January is going to play a certain way is pure folly.

[10:40:08]

PAUL: The president is certainly calling this a witch hunt. Let's listen together here to something that he said last night in South Carolina that has tweaked some people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll never let up on our efforts to ensure that our justice system is fair for every single American. And I have my own experience. You know that. You see what's going on with the witch hunt. It's an investigation in search of a crime.

It's been going on for longer than I'm in office. It's true. And we're working to put an end for everybody, to horrible injustice and horrible practices we've seen. It's just not only here. It's in other places. It's in some pretty high places.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: We've heard from people who say they don't understand President Trump comparing what he calls a witch hunt to the experiences of African-Americans. What is your reaction to that statement that he just made?

STEWART: A lot of the language that the president uses is not something that I or many other Republicans would use, but he clearly, truly believes this is something that, as he did with the Mueller report as a witch hunt and a fishing expedition, he truly believes that he did nothing wrong.

And I have said from the very beginning, I think the conversation that he had with the Ukrainian president was inappropriate and ill-advised, but I do not think it is worthy of impeachment. And what we're going to see is Democrats that continue down this road of impeachment, especially those in Trump won districts, they're going to have a difficulty in the election when it comes to reelection next year.

And in addition to that with the Graham-McConnell resolution that was passed in the Senate, indicating virtually that if this is passed by the House, it's not going anywhere in the Senate, they will not seek a conviction. So it could end up being an exercise in futility by those in the House because we have already seen a clear sign that Republicans in the Senate are standing firm and supporting the president and will not seek to move this to conviction.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Then it falls to the hands of voters. Alice Stewart and Kurt Bardella, thank you both for joining us this morning. Thank you.

STEWART: Thanks.

BARDELLA: Thanks.

PAUL: Thank you.

So Philip Reeker, top State Department official, is set. There he is as he walks in to appear before three House committees today. We're going to take you there live. Stay close.

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[10:46:27]

PAUL: We want to get straight to breaking news right now. Moments ago ambassador Philip Reeker arrived on Capitol Hill. He is testifying before three House committees today as part of the impeachment inquiry. And this is unusual. You don't usually see this happening on a Saturday. But CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is on Capitol Hill as well. What have you seen so far, Suzanne? And good morning.

MALVEAUX: Good morning. Yes, it is a rare hearing, a Saturday hearing. It's going to begin in about, slated to begin in about 15 minutes or so. We just saw Ambassador Phil Reeker walk by us and down the elevators to enter into the secure area, the secure room. I did ask him if he was here voluntarily or by subpoena. He did not answer that question.

And it is interesting, because as the typical policy and the practice, House Democrats will send a formal letter asking for them to voluntarily testify. If not, they'll issue a subpoena. It has been a mix of how witnesses have responded to that. Actually, Monday there will be a critical test when another one of the national security adviser colleagues, one from the State Department who has been subpoenaed, the White House has ordered not to be here, whether or not a federal judge will decide he has to be here.

But in the meantime, they're looking forward to Ambassador Reeker's testimony, whether or not he can shed any light on the discussions between Trump administration officials and those in Ukraine. Christi? SAVIDGE: All right, Suzanne Malveaux, thank you very much for that,

and we will continue to follow through you.

Meanwhile, an historic night in our nation's capital. The World Series was back in town for the first time in a long time.

PAUL: And Nationals fans probably weren't so enthusiastic by the end of the game, but there is another chance tonight. Andy?

SCHOLES: Yes, Christi, I tell you what. There is so much excitement in this city right now for Nationals baseball. The World Series returning to the nation's capital for the first time in 86 years. And last night was the first time the Nationals got to host a World Series game here in the city. You walk around and all you see is people wearing red, you see Go Nats signs everywhere. And the stadium last night just waiting for a chance to explode and just go nuts.

But, unfortunately, the team never really gave them that opportunity. The Nationals had plenty of chances to do something big, but just kept coming up short. The team going zero for 10 with runners in scoring position. They left 12 runners on base in this game.

The crowd did get pretty hyped up in the bottom of the sixth when Gerardo Parra pinch-hit and they played his walkup song, with is "Baby Shark" which has kind of become the anthem for the Nationals. But again, in that inning, the team just couldn't knock in any runs. The Astros would end up winning game three by a final of four to one to get back into this World Series.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE MARTINEZ, WASHINGTON NATIONALS MANAGER: The fans were awesome. It was electric. The boys in the dugout, they were fired up. They were. I'll relay a message to the fans, bring it again tomorrow. It was great. I loved it.

A.J. HINCH, HOUSTON ASTROS MANAGER: They are not afraid of playing in any venue. This is a great atmosphere. The fans were incredible and just alive like you would expect in the World Series. And our players thrive on that, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: The Nationals hope to see their first World Series win here in D.C. tonight in game four. First pitch just after 8:00 eastern. It's another expensive ticket, standing room only, going for more than $900 right now.

[10:50:00]

With the Astros win that guarantees a game five Sunday, and President Trump plans on attending. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he spoke with President Trump, and in order to not disrupt the fans getting in and out of the stadium, President Trump says he's going to arrive after the first pitch and then leave before the game is over. These days we know there's plenty of disagreements going on here in

the nation's capital, but one thing everyone can agree on right now in this city is cheering for the Nationals. And CNN's Wolf Blitzer, he is a super Nationals fan. And I caught up with him just to talk about how much excitement there is right now in the city.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Just brought the whole community together during a rather tumultuous political environment, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. You see them all at the game. I go to a lot of the games. They're always there. Everybody loves the Washington Nationals. We're on a roll right now, and let's hope for the best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: And guys, I was one of the few people walking out with a little smile on my face, born and raised in Houston. So I was obviously happy last night, but we'll see who walks out with a smile tonight.

PAUL: I love how bold Wolf is. He says everybody loves the Nationals, as he looks at you with your Astros jersey.

(LAUGHTER)

SAVIDGE: Thank you very much, Andy.

PAUL: True fan. Thanks, Andy.

I don't even know where to go with this one. A North Carolina man is getting help for a bizarre illness that led to his drunk driving arrest. A rare condition that turned the suspect himself into a one- man micro-brewery. Not making it up. We'll tell you more.

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[10:55:07]

PAUL: So here's a good news update for you from someone we met last year whose life has been changed by top 10 CNN Hero Amanda Boxtel. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Three years ago Nate White injured his spine in a kayaking incident and was told he'd never walk again. But his hard work and determination along with Amanda's incredible help has paid off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a robot.

COOPER: A year ago he did this, and now just three years after his accident, he's doing this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amanda always believed that I was going to be walking again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's living the miracle of what we all aspire for. This is the power of technology that everybody should have access to. That's my goal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: The 2019 top 10 CNN Heroes revealed next Wednesday. Be here at CNN.

SAVIDGE: Well, a North Carolina man who is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol is feeling vindicated this morning, thank you very much.

PAUL: Police and doctors refused to believe the 46-year-old when he said he had not had anything to drink. Doctors now believe he has a rare condition called auto-brewery syndrome. Yes, it's a thing. Basically yeast and fungus in his stomach turns carbs like pizza or chips into alcohol. At the time of his arrest the man's blood alcohol level was two and a half times the legal limit, which is equal to 10 drinks in an hour. Charges, I understand, were dropped.

SAVIDGE: A lot of people are going to use that.

PAUL: Yes, I know.

We hope you go make some good memories today. Thank you for being with us.

SAVIDGE: And the next hour of CNN's NEWSROOM begins with Fredricka Whitfield right after this.

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