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AT THIS HOUR
New NBC Poll Shows Country Divided on Impeachment as Democrats Gear Up for Inquiry's Public Phase; U.S. Adds 128 K Jobs in October, Beating Expectations; Polls: Support for Impeachment Weaker in Key Swing States; Schiff: Trump's Supporters Live in an "Alternate Fact World"; Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) Discusses Impeachment Vote, 2 Democrats Vote to Oppose Impeachment. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 1, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you so much for joining me.
It's the first day of November. It's also the first full day of the next chapter in the impeachment inquiry. The House holding that historic vote, landing almost entirely along party lines, to formally set the rules ahead for the inquiry into President Trump.
It opens the door for public hearings and the release of transcripts from the closed-door interviews that we have talked so much about and will continue to do so.
But the partisan divide on this isn't just on Capitol Hill. A new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows the country is as split as ever on this very question, impeachment.
And 49 percent -- just take a look -- 49 percent say the president should be impeached and removed from office, and 47 percent say no. The margin -- error all within the margin of error. Which means very simply, the country is divided.
Almost as if to push back on the politics of this be, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted this morning this, she called the inquiry, quote, "deadly serious." And says, "This isn't about his personality or his politics. It's about our duty to defend our democracy."
There are other new numbers that the president and Nancy Pelosi quite frankly are both sure to pay attention to this morning, the new jobs numbers. The results better than expected. The U.S. added 128,000 jobs in October.
So what do all of the numbers that we're throwing around this morning tell us about the state of play of the country and the state of play in the first full day of the rest of our lives and impeachment?
Let's go to the White House. CNN's Sarah Westwood is there.
Sarah, this is one of the days where I say this is the first day of the rest of our lives. What are you hearing from the White House this morning?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. It's unfortunately accurate. The president this morning is remaining defiant in the face of the new development in the impeachment inquiry.
He continues to attack the process and to defend that infamous July 25th phone call with the president of Ukraine, even though the investigation by House Democrats has covered more evidence beyond the call.
But last night, he told the "Washington Examiner" he wants to read the call out loud to the person people. I want to read what he said. He said, "At some point, I'm going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call because people have to hear it. When you read, it's a straight call."
Now, the White House is ramping up its outreach to Senate Republicans as it looks increasingly inevitable that this will be heading in the coming weeks to trial in the upper chamber.
The president hosted about half dozen Republican Senators here at the White House hours after the House impeachment vote yesterday, that they talked about impeachment in that meeting in the Roosevelt Room.
And the president focused heavily on the fact that two Democratic House members did break ranks and vote against the impeachment resolution.
That comes after there has been numerous complaints from congressional allies, conservatives, defenders of the president who felt the White House did not have an adequate strategy to handle the impeachment inquiry to date in the House. Those complaints continuing today as the White House still doesn't have much in the way of a concrete strategy.
Meanwhile, sources say that inside the White House officials believe that testimony yesterday from White House official, Tim Morrison, was beneficial to the White House.
They say that's because, according to sources, Tim Morrison said that the transcript of the Ukrainian call released by the White House, generally and accurate reflection of what was said in the conversation. The White House believes it was good for the president.
Even though Morrison then corroborated key testimony from witness, Bill Taylor, and others that the president was putting pressure on Ukrainian officials to publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens.
So the White House struggling to put together a strategy at their point, Kate. Touting the economy this morning, even though yesterday we saw the historic impeachment procedural vote in the House.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Great to see you thanks so much.
We see how impeachment is polling nationally, as I mentioned. And see the same picture on the ground in the key battle-ground states, states that could decide the election?
Harry Enten is here and has been looking into this.
All right, my friend. Looking at the mood toward just the impeachment inquiry, let's start there.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: Let's look right now as sort of the impeachment inquiry. What we see is nationwide, the impeachment inquiry request is fairly popular, 52 percent support, 42 percent oppose.
But presidential elections in this country are actually determine the Electoral College. And we saw last time was the six closest states that Trump won, put him over the top, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, a recent "New York Times"/Sienna poll shows only 50 percent -- in a poll of all six of those battlegrounds, only 50 percent support the inquiry.
A separate poll of Florida, just 48 percent. A poll of Wisconsin was only 46 percent. And then the average of all of the polls, 48 percent support the impeachment inquiry in these key swing states versus 47 percent oppose it.
We have a mixed picture in the swing state versus nationally where we see the impeachment inquiry is popular.
BOLDUAN: Then how does it then change, Harry, when the becomes about impeachment and removing the president from office?
ENTEN: Yes, this is a major difference. If we look at the average of all the polls nationwide on impeaching and remove -- removing Trump from office, we see it's pretty much split. And 48 percent support, 44 percent oppose. Basically, the same as ABC News/"Washington Post" poll.
But look at the six closest swing states that Trump won. In a poll of all six by the "New York Times"/Sienna College, what we see is only 43 percent support versus 53 percent opposed. A poll of Florida, 46 percent support versus 48 percent oppose. A poll of Wisconsin, 44 percent support versus 51 oppose.
Average of all, 44 percent support versus 51 percent oppose. So the major picture on impeach and remove, split nationally, has slightly more support than oppose. But in major swing states that Trump won, the vast majority say, at this point, that they oppose it. Or at least the majority, not vast.
BOLDUAN: Not vast. Harry don't get excited.
ENTEN: I don't want to get too excited. But the majority clearly do.
BOLDUAN: As Nancy Pelosi speaks the truth on one thing, this is deadly serious.
And what's also deadly serious is paying attention to the numbers and analysis of it. Because no matter what any politician tells you, they are watching that. They are watching those numbers. They're watching the breakdowns of where the Democrats land on this, Republicans land on this, especially in their own districts.
It's great to see you, Harry. Thank you so much.
ENTEN: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Here with me much more on this, CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" congressional reporter, Rachael Bade, and CNN national security analyst, Sam Vinograd, wo served as senior advisor to the national security adviser under President Obama.
It's great to have you guys here. Thank you for being here.
Sam, let's talk after this wild week. Let's talk big picture in terms of the investigation. The House ends this week, entering the new chapter, if you will, now we'll soon be heading into public hearings.
But beyond the vote that we just saw yesterday, where has this week left folks in terms of the investigation or at least what we know of it?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well I want to make a point on the going public move that happened yesterday. Transparency is key but it isn't cost free. When we have the public hearings --
BOLDUAN: For whom.
VINOGRAD: For the United States government. When we have the public hearings, the world is going to hear about the inner-most workings of the U.S. government. They'll hear about dysfunction or abuses of power.
But they're going to be hearing about processes that typically, if not classified, very intimate. The chain of command for a call read out, the different servers the national security staff use for call read outs.
It's not like we have Kremlin officials going on TV and talking about how the Kremlin works. This will have national security impact.
In terms of what we learn this week, experts had concerns about the president's behavior. There's an outstanding question for me, Kate, about what White House counsel did and the national security adviser did in light of the concerns.
We understand that people went to John Eisenberg, the National Security Council lawyer, who reports to White House counsel.
My final point, Kate, there's a potential conflict. White House counsel is involved in stonewalling the impeachment inquiry at this point. But White House counsel would have been aware NSC went to voice concerns and get guidance or seek approval for their actions.
That's something I'll watch next week, whether White House counsel comes up in any way and whether that's part of the public testimony going forward.
BOLDUAN: That also plays into how messy and touchy this can get when you talk about who knew what, when, who was involved in what editions.
I'm also interested in OMB officials. That comes to the question, who made the call to hold up the aid, and where was the review in the conversation. That's a fascinating part of the conversation.
RACHAEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: When or if they come in.
BOLDUAN: And that's a big question still. That's a huge question at this moment. I will ask every lawmaker coming on the show. But it's almost as if they don't know until the morning they see the folks arrive if they're going to no matter what.
But on where the week ends, Rachael, in terms of the politics of this, I think Carlos Holtz put it well in the "Times." He put it this way: "Democrats are now faced with the challenge of mounting a compelling case to the public that can cut through the political noise and generate even the barest of bipartisan consensus. Knowing that the greater likelihood is that Mr. Trump will be acquitted in the Republican-led Senate."
A very eloquent way of saying as I will say simplicity, the road got no easier with the vote yesterday. Where do the politics of this inquiry land at the end of the week?
BADE: This was obviously a first test vote on impeachment. And the Republicans were able to keep their rank and file in line. Nobody stepped out, even though 18 Republicans are retiring and would, in theory, be more free to speak out against the president.
And we have also --
BOLDUAN: Rachael why is that? Is that because they saw -- most basic, they didn't see a benefit to themselves speaking out to being on the record voting for it even though they have been on the record speaking out about it.
BADE: Yes, it's a great question. Because people like Frances Rooney, retiring from Florida --
BADE: -- have said this is grave behavior. He is concerned. He wants to see investigation, and yet voted against the impeachment inquiry. Which is an investigation, right. The folks basically said they think the process is a sham and that
they think Republicans should have more rights, even though the same rights were given to, you know, Clinton when they impeached the president previously.
There's another theory though. That perhaps these Republicans who could potentially vote for impeachment don't want to sort of put themselves out there right now where Trump can pretty much blast them for the next three weeks and they would have the whole Republican Party bearing down on them to try to change their minds.
Maybe they wait to make that protest vote when they actually impeach him. That could be hopeful thinking on the part of Democrats but --
BOLDUAN: Maybe. But it speaks to something on the Hill. If they know something is going to pass, the people it might hurt -- any vote or topic, Pelosi, any speaker might be like, you're safe, we might need you but you're safe on this.
BOLDUAN: That's a fascinating. Let us see is the only way we can kind of see how that's going to end up.
But -- House Intel chairman who is now leading the investigation, Sam. He said something yesterday to -- on CNN that I think deserves more attention. How he described why he thinks the inquiry today is different from the investigation into Nixon and Watergate in one fundamental way.
Let me play what Adam Schiff said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We have the existence of the call record. But I don't think that's really what differentiates then from now. I think the main difference is the president now has FOX primetime. And that allows his supporters to live in the alternate fact world.
And frankly, I think if Richard Nixon had had FOX protective placement primetime he would have never been forced to leave office.
That's what we're up against, you know, an information environment in which you can live in a world devoid of facts and that's a world, frankly, that is very suitable for a president like this, who doesn't have much adhere to the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Adam Schiff saying it's FOX News primetime that's the fundamental between now and then. That if Richard Nixon had had FOX primetime he wouldn't have been forced to leave office.
I find it fascinating in many ways. But in one way -- he is now leading the investigation. He is now in charge of this. And is -- he already seems to be suggesting that there's a possibility that there's no way they're getting anymore bipartisan just because of the state of affairs.
What is the point -- I'm getting to a place of that.
VINOGRAD: The point is trying to defend the Constitution and that's what he is doing.
But I think Chairman Schiff left off a key part. It's not just FOX primetime. It's also the president's Twitter trigger finger. I mean, the president has been trying to bully witnesses and color public opinion since the impeachment inquiry started.
The fact of the matter is that the court of public opinion is being manipulated not just by the media but by the president himself.
As we see witnesses potentially have to testify in a public setting, if the past is precedent, Kate, we will see the president make strong statements about them and their service and try to sully their reputation to diminish credibility of their testimony.
BADE: And Chairman Schiff had another takeaway from the vote. That it's really hard to peel off the Republicans, in spite of all the witnesses coming forward. We're not talking one or two.
VINOGRAD: And that's the function of FOX and the president's tweeting.
BADE: Right, exactly, connected back to that. If they're not willing to vote for an investigation when they have --
BOLDUAN: That's right.
BADE: -- a Trump appointee literally, at the same time, in the capital of the basements, that a quid pro quo happened and --
BOLDUAN: He will not use the word quid pro quo.
BOLDUAN: -- think he helped Donald Trump.
BADE: Yes. Right, exactly. If they're not willing to vote for investigation now, perhaps Democrats are saying thinking this is going to be really hard we know to get them to vote for impeachment in the long run.
BOLDUAN: And everyone should say, duh!
I think yesterday and today is that a realization moment of what the road is going to look like going forward for both sides. Republicans have tough -- -- are going tough a tough road because a lot of this is in public.
When you have people coming from behind the closed-doors meetings saying this is a sea change, you might see that. Republicans are going to see that.
On the Democratic side, still, when the president is pressuring Republicans and they need him in the districts to win re-election, what does that pressure look like and what does that mean for votes?
Good to see you guys.
BOLDUAN: Thanks for being here.
Coming up for us, the candidate with the plan for everything is now releasing how she will pay for Medicare-for-All. Elizabeth Warren finally answers the question she has been dodging a long time at this point. We're breaking down the numbers. What she says -- where she says the money comes from. Let's see if it adds up. That's next.
BOLDUAN: As we have talked about, it was a moment that only occurred two other times in modern American history happening yesterday. Right here during our show. The House of Representatives taking its first votes relating to the impeachment of President Trump. This time, to formalize the impeachment investigation.
And it fell almost precisely on party lines. Not a single Republicans voted for the inquiry. All but two Democrats backed the measure.
One Democrat who broke ranks was Jeff Van Drew, who said he hasn't seen enough to warrant impeaching the president yet. And he offered this warning, saying, quote, "Please understand how important, how serious impeachment is."
So if the inquiry remains as divisive as the vote yesterday seems to imply, what happens now?
Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Stephen Lynch, from Massachusetts, a member of the House Oversight Committee, which has been involved in the impeachment probe.
Congressman, thanks for coming in.
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D-MA): Good morning. Good to be with you. BOLDUAN: Thank you.
What do you say to your Democratic colleagues, Jeff Van Drew and Collin Peterson, the two Democrats voting against the inquiry yesterday?
LYNCH: In fairness, neither one of the gentlemen has been in the depositions. So unlike myself -- I have actually -- as a member of a committee and a subcommittee chair, being in almost basically all of the -- all of the depositions, having the evidence provided, I have a lot of facts, unlike Mr. Peterson and others.
I'm hopeful that when the evidence is presented to them that they -- they will support the process.
BOLDUAN: If they did have more information you're confident that they would be with you -- they would have voted with you guys?
LYNCH: I think, at the end of the day, I think, as an attorney, that there's direct evidence of the president's wrongdoing. But I do think that it's necessary to have the witnesses testify in public, testify in the Senate, if necessary to --
BOLDUAN: But Congressman -- Congressman Peterson said -- Peterson said yesterday gnat impeachment is process is hopelessly partisan. And he doubts it will lead to more transparency. These guys are not with you.
LYNCH: They're also without information. Right? They haven't seen the evidence. So they're making uninformed decisions at this point.
I'm saying I think, having seen direct evidence, heard direct evidence, I've had documents described to me, I think there's clear and convincing evidence that the president engaged in misconduct. And so what I'm saying is --
BOLDUAN: But they're saying they don't trust you guys. Why wouldn't they trust you? If you are saying you have had this evidence, there are a lot of --
LYNCH: I'm not interesting asking them to trust me. I'm not asking them to trust me. I'm asking them to trust themselves, the evidence. Look at the evidence and then make a decision.
Look, a third of the country wanted Trump impeached the day he was elected. A third of the country wouldn't impeach him if he thought shot somebody on Fifth Avenue.
You're speaking for the people in the center, people open to the facts, open to reasoning, opening -- open to logic. Those are the people that we hope will make a fact-based decision.
And they will -- they will, I think, put pressure on their representatives to -- to support and defend the Constitution, like they took an oath to do.
BOLDUAN: Let me read you this. And this is -- was and today it remains a key quote from Speaker Pelosi that she gave to the "Washington Post" in March. At that point she was not in the place of -- she was not ready for impeachment but laying out the stakes of impeachment.
And she said this, "Unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's" -- talking about the president -- "he's just not worth it."
So then when you look at yesterday's vote, Congressman, how are you guys not going against this marker that the speaker of the House very clearly laid out?
LYNCH: Look, I was with the speaker. And ostensibly, I am still with the speaker.
Here is the thing. I believe we will make our case before the American people that the president broke the law. The question that will be presented to every member of Congress, House and Senate, is whether you will live up to your obligation to support and defend the Constitution. That's the best we can do.
And I think there's direct evidence. Again, I think we are -- we are at that point where the body of work, the evidence that has been produced by Mr. Schiff and others in depositions, is clear and convincing.
And I think that if you ask the speaker today, given the body of evidence we have, I think she may be leaning more -- more robustly towards the impeachment process.
BOLDUAN: Real quick, looking ahead to the next week, could be a big week or maybe it isn't at all if nobody shows up. Do you think John Bolton is going to testify?
LYNCH: You know, I have dealt with John Bolton on the periphery. He has always been his own man. He is not someone who would buckle to the president's pressure. So ---and he is also very unpredictable, frankly. So I wasn't -- I wouldn't hazard a guess.
All I know is that a lot of the testimony that has come out has been very supportive of his decisions and his statements to push back on Mr. Giuliani and others. So he -- he has really looked good. He has looked good in these depositions based on the testimony of others.
So I think it would help his place in history if he came forward.
Congressman, thanks for coming in. Let's talk next week.
LYNCH: OK. Thank you. Absolutely.
BOLDUAN: Appreciate it.
Still ahead for us, after taking major hits for not saying how she would pay for a Medicare-for-All plan, Elizabeth Warren is now presenting that. Will she take more hits for the price tag and for how she says she would pay for the proposal? That's next.