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Trump Reacts to House's Impeachment Probe Vote; Trump Ditches New York to Become Florida Resident; Polls: Support for Trump Impeachment Weaker in Swing States. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired November 1, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Friday. Great to have you here.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST/ANCHOR: Happy November.
CAMEROTA: Thank you.
The impeachment inquiry is moving forward with public hearings in just weeks. President Trump responding to yesterday's historic House vote, in a new interview saying he will not cooperate with the impeachment probe and insisting he had a, quote, "good call" with Ukraine's president.
The president even suggesting he might read the transcript of that call to the American people in a televised fireside chat.
Meanwhile, voters will be able to read most of the transcripts themselves. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tells CNN that he hopes to release those transcripts as early as next week.
AVLON: President Trump's former top advisor on Russia, Tim Morrison, confirmed to investigators that he saw signs of a quid pro quo but says he did not view it as illegal or improper. Morrison resigned from the National Security Council before testifying.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," calls Ukraine the smoking gun and says Democrats cannot ignore the allegations against President Trump, despite their concerns that it will further divide the country.
House Dems got a full impeachment witness list for next week, though it's unclear who's actually going to show up.
Joining us now, CNN political analyst David Gregory; CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser, staff writer for "The New Yorker"; and CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
All right, guys. A lot to talk about. Let me start with you. The line you're hearing from Republicans is that this is no due process. It is unconstitutional. It is unfair. It's even fundamentally un- American according to the White House press secretary.
If they're going to press this did nothing wrong, no due process argument, do they have any toehold in reality to push upon?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's important to point out the arguments about, you know, no due process are all process arguments. They are not defenses of the president's conduct with regard to -- with regard to Ukraine.
You know, as for the actual argument that it's unfair, I mean, this is a process that is specifically authorized under the Constitution. I mean, impeachment is spelled out very clearly in the Constitution.
How the Democrats are going about leading this process is very similar to what the Republicans did in 1998, with regard to Bill Clinton. I mean, this is not an unusual or unprecedented process. The facts are obviously very different.
And you know, what -- what remains very curious is that you don't see very many Republicans defending the actual behavior of the president with regard to Ukraine, on the merits.
CAMEROTA: That's the deal. I think, David, because what is unprecedented is that it is -- there's no bipartisanship.
So I think that perhaps Democrats had hoped that some of the Republicans who had expressed some concern about what they'd seen in that transcript with Ukraine's president were going to peel off. That didn't happen. And so is that a problem, that it is not bipartisan at all?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is a problem. You know, back in 1998, you had 31 Democrats who voted for the impeachment inquiry, the proceedings at that time. So it reinforces that we're in such a partisan and polarized time in our politics right now.
Under any normal circumstances, Republicans would join. And lord knows, if President Hillary Clinton were in office, with this kind of behavior, you can imagine how Republicans would be reacting to her conduct of foreign policy if it were like Donald Trump's. Especially with -- in this particular instance.
But that's not where we are. It's so polarized. And Republicans are arguing what is true, which is that -- that impeachment is a political process. So it depends on where you sit politically.
And while they're focused on process, and trying to build this up as a sham process, you do have the president saying we know how this turned out. I will tell you exactly what I did, and I'll stand behind what I did. And that's how this is going to continue to play out.
AVLON: But Susan, I mean, part of the White House's argument is that he did nothing wrong. The president yesterday downgrading the perfect call to a good call.
Nonetheless, they're not really dealing with the facts. And so you had some folks, Rachael Bade from "The Washington Post" on earlier, who's been chronicling this, saying that, look, a lot of folks thought that some of the 18 House Republicans who are retiring, opting not to run again, might have voted for this impeachment inquiry to go forward. They didn't. What does that say?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's right. It's very striking, especially because remember, the vote yesterday was essentially to allow an investigation to proceed.
We talk all the time about those 31 House Democrats who voted to open the impeachment inquiry in Clinton. Not all of them ultimately ended up voting for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. You would think that it would be an easier vote to vote for opening an investigation than it would be for actually impeaching the president. So I do think that sends a pretty stark political message.
But just on the facts, you know, President Trump has not only not explained anything, beyond saying there's this perfect phone call, but I've been struck by the fact that, for one month, we've had all these witnesses and, essentially, they've all told a very similar story.
This has been been coming from inside the Trump administration. It was his own White House and national security advisers who expressed immediate real-time alarm, actually reported it to lawyers, reported it to superiors. I mean, this was the system itself blinking red.
GREGORY: I think it's important to point out what Pete Buttigieg on the campaign trail is saying, because I think there is some resonance to this, which is it would probably be more effective to vote him out of office and to condemn Trump, as were, you know, in the beginning of this election year, rather than remove him from office.
This is a Democrat running for the president. And obviously, there'd be pretty of Republicans who'd be happy to join, even if they don't support that position, to say to do this in an election year is wrong.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, I think it's really interesting. Nancy Pelosi, as we all remember, was very reluctant to begin this. She argued in March that she did not want to do. She was against, in fact, an impeachment inquiry in March.
And then Ukraine happened. Then the Ukraine phone call happened. And that changed her calculus. It changed so many Democrats' calculus. But it may not have changed, ultimately, the voters' calculus. Certainly not in the battleground states.
I mean, Jeffrey, this is a dangerous move for Democrats. In the battleground states, they are opposed to impeaching and removing the president. And so anybody who suggests that Nancy Pelosi is doing this out of some sort of, you know, grand political strategy, to win in 2020. That's not necessarily how these cards are going to be dealt.
TOOBIN: Well, it's certainly, as you point out, she has been reluctant in this process from the very beginning.
But you know, I think sometimes, facts matter. Sometimes they do. And sometimes, there are acts that a president commits that are so egregious, and so outside the bounds of what we expect, and what the Constitution requires, of our president, that even politicians say, I don't care what the political risks are. This is wrong. And we've got to proceed.
And I think that really is at the core of what went on with Nancy Pelosi, and a substantial number of Democrats, as well.
GREGORY: And it's also, one of those facts is Trump saying, I can do whatever I want.
GREGORY: And there's no limits to this. I can do whatever I want as president of the United States. Whether it's obstruct justice, which the Mueller report alludes to as a basis to be investigated, or it's to not cooperate with this inquiry.
And you know, at some point, Congress does have to stand up and say, no, that's not true. We have a -- we have a vote here. We have power here, and that's what they're asserting.
AVLON: I think we can all agree that if a hypothetical President Hillary Clinton had done precisely what Donald Trump is accused of, impeachment proceedings would be rolling right along.
But Susan, we need to acknowledge the political reality and impact of this, because there are a lot of unprecedented things about this presidency. One of them is impeaching a president heading into reelection. And it looks like a number of the senators running for president are going to be on the judge and jury. How do you see impeachment impacting the Democratic primaries?
GLASSER: Well, look, John, this is an excellent question, because I don't think people have fully grappled with the idea that the timetables are now colliding.
GLASSER: First of all, this is the first election-year impeachment and prospective trial of a president we've had, really, because in fact, both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon had already been elected to their second terms when they were going through the impeachment proceedings, whereas Donald Trump is seeking re-election at the exact same moment.
Also, when you look at the timetable, it's going to be very ambitious if they're able to do it at all for the House of Representatives to get done by the end of this year. With the articles of impeachment, that would put a Senate trial into January at the earliest, colliding, essentially, with the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses in the beginning of 2020.
When you have a Senate trial, by the way, those senators are required, as the jurors, to be sitting in their seats, listening to all the evidence. They're not going to be on the road -- Jeff.
TOOBIN: No, I'm just agreeing to you, Susan. I didn't mean --
AVLON: Radical agreement.
CAMEROTA: He was so enthusiastic.
TOOBIN: I was interrupting by agreeing with you, and I apologize for that prototypically male behavior.
GLASSER: I thought you had a great point to make. I want to hear it.
AVLON: I just wanted to echo yours.
TOOBIN: No. Please, continue.
GLASSER: No, I mean so the answer is, though, I actually would say, Jeff's point is the right one, which is that this an action that appears to be taken despite the polls and despite the political analysis, as opposed to because of them. And that is something that is somewhat rare, I think, in our politics.
But as someone who's followed foreign policy for the last couple decades, I have to say, like, there is no alternate hypothesis scenario where Hillary Clinton does this. This is just an extraordinary allegation against Donald Trump. And it's hard to imagine somebody not investigating it.
CAMEROTA: When my husband tries to interject at the dinner table while my 14-year-old daughters are talking, they go, I'm getting a lot of toxic masculinity from this side of the table. Which is so funny.
TOOBIN: Well, yes.
CAMEROTA: This is our new -- this is our new world. Thank you for being so woke that you just acknowledged it.
TOOBIN: Well, I was just -- I shouldn't -- I shouldn't do it in the first place, but if I -- once I do it, I try to --
AVLON: You were just head nodding agreement, that's all.
TOOBIN: I know.
CAMEROTA: That was great.
TOOBIN: Well said, Susan.
CAMEROTA: Thank you all very much.
President Trump's brand has always been synonymous with New York City, but now apparently, President Trump is ditching New York City. He is registering as a permanent resident of the key battleground state of Florida.
Joining us now with her reporting is CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman. She's the White House correspondent for "The New York Times" who broke this story.
Good morning, Maggie.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (via phone): Good morning.
CAMEROTA: So the president is not in love with New York City anymore? is he moving?
HABERMAN: I think there's a couple of reasons. I think the primary one that I was told was it's tax related. Remember, he's going to pay far less in taxes in Florida than he would in New York. Florida has no state income tax.
There's an irony here, because the taxes, the local taxes became more onerous in New York after the tax bill that President Trump signed into law.
I think that they also -- this says something about his post- presidential future and the recognition that New York is perhaps not such a welcoming place for him. He's deeply unpopular in New York. And I think that there's always been a concern about protests that he might face on an ongoing basis at Trump Tower.
But some of this advisers see an electoral advantage here, Alisyn. Moving to Florida, they think it's potentially helpful in an election where Florida is going to be key. Florida is always tight, as we know, in national races and in it, stabilized rates. And they think there's an advantage to calling himself a Florida man, for lack of a better term.
CAMEROTA: How could there not be, Maggie? I mean, how can there not be, when he gets to go -- he spends a lot of time, as we know, in Mar- a-Lago. He spends a lot of time in Florida. And when he gets to say, I'm a Floridian, I mean, how -- how does that not register as an electoral advantage?
HABERMAN: I mean, I said, look, because I'm not sure, actually sure that people are going to make that much of a difference. I'm not sure how many Floridians it will actually make a difference for.
But it does allow him to do some version of a theme that he's been on for a while, which is I'm not one of the elites. I'm an outsider. And I think it plays to that.
CAMEROTA: You know, Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as Mayor De Blasio welcomed this news. The tweet from Governor Cuomo was, "Good riddance. It's not like Mr. Trump paid taxes here anyway. He's all yours, Florida."
HABERMAN: That's subtle. Very subtle.
CAMEROTA: But I mean, Maggie, as someone who has covered him for so long, as you have, well before he became president, this is really notable. Because he is so synonymous with New York and the Trump Towers here. And the sort of gilded lifestyle and being on Page Six and all of that stuff. I mean, how significant do you think it is that he would be saying goodbye to that -- that identity of his?
HABERMAN: I think if he goes ahead and moves to Florida post- presidency full time, I have the same reaction you did, which is, you know, this is -- are having right now, which is this is hard to fathom that somebody who, you know, who came of age in Queens, is so tied with New York. Everybody, you know, always identified Fifth Avenue with Donald Trump. You know, the Trump Tower has loomed large in the public consciousness for a long time. He helped make that national, with "The Apprentice." It is bizarre to think of him as not being a New Yorker, but there you have it.
CAMEROTA: Maggie Haberman, thank you for sharing your reporting with us this morning.
HABERMAN: Thanks, guys.
AVLON: All right. Polls show that support for impeachment is growing. But in key swing states, it is decidedly not as popular. Harry Enten going to tell us why, next.
BERMAN: All right. A brand-new ABC News/"Washington Post" national poll showing Americans remain divided on impeachment and removing President Trump. Forty-nine percent in favor, and 47 percent opposed.
But how do voters in swing states feel? Let's get "The Forecast" from CNN political senior politics writer and analyst, and Popeye's enthusiast, Harry Enten.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Shalom. Good shavas (ph) to both of you. Different John today, but I'll get used to it. It's very different for me to see a different fatherly figure here, but whatever.
ENTEN: OK. So let's sort of set the stage here. Remember the 2016 election, right, folks?
Nationwide, Hillary Clinton won that popular vote, but Donald Trump was the president of the United States. Why? It was because he won the Electoral College. That's how we do things, folks.
In the sixth closest states that Trump won, it was a very tight margin. He won by just a percentage point over Hillary Clinton, 48 to 47. Those six closest states, of course, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
So let's take a look at how this is playing out over impeachment. Right? Because you have the different presidential candidates. We're trying to figure out how exactly to position yourself for the general election. Not just the primary.
So the House's impeachment inquiry, nationwide, quite popular: 53 percent support.
CAMEROTA: Did you factor -- you didn't factor in today's new poll, right?
CAMEROTA: Which is much closer.
ENTEN: We will get to that in a minute. Don't worry. Don't jump the gun. Come on, come on.
AVLON: But this is your average.
ENTEN: This is the average of the inquiry. This is not impeach/remove. This is the inquiry. Fifty-three percent support; 42 percent oppose.
Now, look at the six closest states that Trump won. It was a "New York Times" poll of all six states. Fifty percent support, 45 percent oppose. Much closer, a five-point gap versus the 11-point gap here.
There was a poll of Florida done by the University of North Florida. Basically, a dead even split: 48 percent, 47 percent.
A poll of just Wisconsin: 46 percent support; 49 percent oppose.
An average of all of these polls: 48 percent support, 47 percent oppose. Much closer than the support and oppose nationwide.
AVLON: And this is the inquiry, not impeach and remove itself. That's critical to understand, but that's still fascinating.
ENTEN: That's still very close.
But how about that impeach/remove question? This is an average, Alisyn, that takes into account all of the polls.
CAMEROTA: Even today's?
ENTEN: Even today's.
CAMEROTA: God, you're good, Harry.
AVLON: How about that?
ENTEN: We track.
CAMEROTA: Lightning speed.
ENTEN: We try our best. You know, I really don't have a life. So I'm able to do this.
Forty-eight percent support, 44 percent oppose. Now take a look at the six closest states that Trump won.
The poll of all six by "The New York Times"/Sienna: 43 percent support, 53 percent oppose. That's a negative gap.
ENTEN: Much better for the president than nationwide.
Poll of Florida: 46 percent support; 48 percent oppose. Again, negative. Better for the president.
Poll of Wisconsin, 44 percent support; 51 percent oppose.
And an average of all these polls: 44 percent support, 51 percent oppose.
So nationally, we see one story. But in the swing states, we see another one where impeach/remove is, simply put, not popular.
CAMEROTA: And the swing states are what matter, obviously, for the re-election. And I think that this is so telling, Harry, and I'm so glad that you're bringing this to people, because anyone who lives in a blue bubble --
CAMEROTA: -- as some of our viewers may, they need to see this.
ENTEN: They absolutely need to see this, because the fact of the matter is, you look at those national polls, and they give you this idea that the president is deeply unpopular and that impeachment is actually more popular than unpopular. And in the swing states, where it actually matters for a presidential election, it's a completely different story.
AVLON: And the Trump team is going for an electoral win, not a popular vote win for their reelection. So this is triply important in that regard.
All right. What else you got?
ENTEN: Well, I'm to quickly just point this out, which was we had this New Hampshire poll earlier this week, right by us. Twenty-one percent for Sanders, 18 percent for Warren, 15 percent Biden, 10 percent Buttigieg.
This number, the fact that the leader is only at 21 percent, I went back and looked at polls at this point. That is the lowest at this point in the campaign for a person leading in New Hampshire, going all the way back since at least 2000. So this is a very weak frontrunner. This field is very, very divided.
AVLON: That is nerdtastic right there.
CAMEROTA: That is nerdtastic.
ENTEN: And let me just say, look at this.
Congratulations to the Washington Nationals. This is the first World Series in which an MLB, NBA, or NHL post-season series in which all the road teams won. So why don't we celebrate that with some Popeye's chicken sandwiches, which are coming back on Sunday? And guess what, folks? We're going to have some here, on Monday.
AVLON: On set.
ENTEN: Spicy chicken sandwich.
CAMEROTA: Are you being compensated by Popeye's somehow?
AVLON: No, just so you know. They should be underwriting it.
ENTEN: Popeye's, I love.
AVLON: What Harry does.
ENTEN: Yum, yum, yum.
AVLON: And we're going to eat that on set on Monday. Live taste test.
AVLON: I'm excited.
CAMEROTA: Can't wait. Hopefully blindfolded.
Thank you very much, Harry. You're wonderful.
All right. Some Republicans are blasting the impeachment inquiry as having Soviet-style rules. What does that even mean? And what will allies of the president do now that the public hearings are just weeks away? We discuss all of that next.
CAMEROTA: For weeks, Republicans have called on Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote formalizing the impeachment inquiry. That happened yesterday. So they must be very happy today, right?
Joining us now, Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and former political director for President George W. Bush; and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro. Great to have both of you.
MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Great to be here.
CAMEROTA: So Matt, you all, Republicans wanted a vote formalizing this.
CAMEROTA: You got that. So are you satisfied?
SCHLAPP: I thought it was a great day yesterday. I actually got to talk to the president yesterday. I think his spirits were very up. The advisers around him. Nancy Pelosi has said all along that she wouldn't move on starting an impeachment process unless it would be overwhelming bipartisan. And let's face it, that's just not where this is in the House of Representatives. Furthermore --
CAMEROTA: Hold on, hold on.
SCHLAPP: Furthermore --
CAMEROTA: Just a fact check. One second. One second, hold on.
CAMEROTA: She didn't say overwhelmingly bipartisan. You're right: in March, she said that she wouldn't move forward unless it was bipartisan.
SCHLAPP: How about give me 50 votes? Let me give you an example. No, let me go back at you.
CAMEROTA: Yes, go.
SCHLAPP: So for Nixon and for Clinton, Nixon's impeachment was started with 410 votes. This very vote would have gotten 410 votes under Nixon. With Clinton, it was over 360. That's the kind of bipartisanship --
CAMEROTA: Matt --
SCHLAPP: -- you should do impeachment on.
CAMEROTA: Matt, times have changed.
SCHLAPP: They sure have. I agree with you.
CAMEROTA: And you know that, Matt.
CAMEROTA: Times have changed. We are in a very partisan climate.
SCHLAPP: Impeaching a president without a crime.
CAMEROTA: And not just from the Democrats, from the Republicans. It's a very partisan climate.
SCHLAPP: It is.
CAMEROTA: You would never have that today. That's not a standard. SCHLAPP: That's not true.
CAMEROTA: And by the way, that's also not a constitutional standard.
SCHLAPP: No, that's not true.
CAMEROTA: You would never have that.
SCHLAPP: No, because Clinton was talking about this. Clinton's --
CAMEROTA: The president's own tax cut didn't get any bipartisan support. We're not in that world right now, Matt.
SCHLAPP: No, but let me -- let me be clear here. I think that it is awfully important, when it comes to impeaching a president, because even with those 300 and -- over 360 votes on Clinton, having tons of Democrats, agree that President Clinton should be impeached, the Republicans still paid a price.
Because when it looks like you're being partisan with impeachment, I actually think the voters don't like that. And I think that what's hard for Pelosi here is that they don't have a crime. They just don't like this man.
CAMEROTA: Wait, wait, wait.
SCHLAPP: And that is not enough to impeach him.
CAMEROTA: Time out, Matt. Time out. As you know, she didn't start the process until after the Ukraine call. And there have been lots of witnesses and lots of documentation that --
SCHLAPP: Not a crime. Not a crime.
CAMEROTA: Crime is not the standard, Matt. You know that.
SCHLAPP: Yes, it is. High crimes and misdemeanors is the standard.
CAMEROTA: Matt, this is a political process.
SCHLAPP: It's in the Constitution.
CAMEROTA: And people have heard something that is not allowed, which is asking a a foreign government --
SCHLAPP: Totally allowed.
CAMEROTA: -- for help -- wait a minute. You think it's totally allowed --
CAMEROTA: -- to ask a foreign government for help in a political process?
SCHLAPP: Yes, specifically on the Ukraine. There's a -- we actually have a treaty with the Ukraine to root out corruption.
This is one of the problems with the Democrats. If you would impeach President Trump over leveraging Ukraine on their aid, you would have to impeach Vice President Joe Biden. They're in a hell of a pickle on this, rhetorically.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead. Ana, I hear your heavy sigh. Please, what is your response?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, since I drink coffee, not Kool-Aid, look. First of all, unlike Matt, I didn't think yesterday was a great day. I thought it was a very somber day. I think any time when an American president is proceeding towards an impeachment, it is a somber day in America and one where I think we are reminded about the co-executive branches and the fact that we have checks and balances in this country, something which distinguishes us from many other countries.
Look, I -- I think Nancy Pelosi actually has a lot of credibility on this, because she hasn't been on the impeachment bandwagon since day one. Because she wasn't even on the impeachment bandwagon after Mueller. Because it's the facts that have dragged her there, kicking and screaming. The undeniable facts is what have dragged her there.
And -- and I think it's a day when the American people are going to get what so many have wanted, which is a chance to hear for themselves and judge for themselves.
What we saw yesterday is a sign of the times. We are in a hyper partisan time in politics right now. And it's also, you know, a manifestation of just how effective Donald Trump has been in demanding and getting loyalty, blind loyalty, from Republicans in Congress. He's been very good at scaring the bejeezus out of them, because he goes into their primary, because he goes into their generals --
SCHLAPP: That's actually like him.
NAVARRO: I don't know how many of them like him or not.
SCHLAPP: They like him.
NAVARRO: OK. All I --
SCHLAPP: Republicans across the country like him.
NAVARRO: All I know is that -- all I know is that any Republican that's dared speak up against him gets attacked by him. A lot of them lost primaries. A lot of them --
CAMEROTA: Are retiring.
NAVARRO: -- lost generals. A lot of them are retiring.
NAVARRO: And so there's a lot less Republicans -- SCHLAPP: Hey, Alisyn --
NAVARRO: -- but they're all blindly, cultishly loyal to Donald Trump.
CAMEROTA: Yes, Matt?
SCHLAPP: Alisyn, I --
NAVARRO: As are some Republicans outside of Congress, as well.
SCHLAPP: Look, I think on all of this -- and I think --6