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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Trump Rails On Deranged Impeachment Witch Hunt At Rally; Pelosi Says The Impeachment Inquiry Could Get Wider; Rick Perry Refuses To Take Part In Closed-Door Impeachment; Ukraine Was Told Not To Discuss Trump-Zelensky Call Concerns; WAPO: Growing Number Of GOP Senators Consider Acknowledging Trump's Quid Pro Quo On Ukraine; Ukraine Expert Was Told Not To Discuss Trump-Zelensky Call Concerns; NYT: No Evidence Has Emerged To Confirm Trump's Account That Al-Baghdadi Died "Whimpering, Crying". Aired 7-8a ET
Aired November 2, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. We are happy to be with you. Listen, the evidence is mounting the list of witnesses and the testimony that's growing, but President Trump is still spinning the impeachment inquiry as a deranged witch-hunt. At this rally last night in Mississippi, the President warned members of his base that a vast deep state conspiracy was trying to drive him from office
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it is possible the scope of the inquiry could extend beyond the call with Ukraine. Also Energy Secretary Rick Perry refusing to take part in any closed door deposition but the agency says he might consider testifying publicly.
BLACKWELL: And the source tells CNN that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a top Ukraine expert in the administration was told to keep quiet about the President's July phone call with the president of Ukraine. Let's bring in now, CNN Correspondent Kristen Holmes. Kristen, President Trump says that he's being unfairly targeted by Democrats last night. He asked the question -- he's asked several times before, how do you impeach a president who did nothing wrong? That's his framing. What more do we hear from the President in Mississippi?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, this is not surprising. President Trump was really on the offensive last night, and let's not underplay what happened in Washington this week, and why exactly, he is lashing out like this. That vote in the House was a historic vote, they are not only formalizing the impeachment process, but essentially they're making it a whole lot less likely that they're not going to bring these articles of impeachment against President Trump. And on top of that, we know that Republicans behind closed doors are acknowledging that this is likely to happen and they are working on their strategy and messaging. So again, not surprising that President Trump was on the attack last night, he was in Mississippi State that he won handedly with his base at a campaign rally in which of course we know is one of his most comfortable settings. And he hit against a lot of familiar targets.
We heard about Democrats. We heard about Hillary Clinton. And of course, we heard about the media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The media are continuing with the deranged impeachment witch-hunt. This is one I never thought I'd be involved and the word impeachment, to me, it's a dirty word. Not a good word. Totally phony deal. They know it, everybody knows it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And look, these are the remarks at the top of his rally here. They are clearly top of mind for the President. And this is coming as these Congressional committees have a longer and longer list of witnesses that they want to hear from and perhaps one of the most well-known names, Secretary Perry, the Secretary of the Department of Energy, who said that he was not going to testify behind closed doors that he might consider a public hearing. But again, he was asked to testify on Wednesday and he says he will not be there.
PAUL: All right. So, Kristen, talk to us about Speaker Pelosi because she, it seems, was suggesting that the impeachment issues could be broader than just that of Ukraine.
HOLMES: Absolutely. So this was incredibly interesting. We know that Speaker Pelosi for months has kind of hedged on impeachment this week, of course, bringing the vote saying that she believes that there is enough evidence now for a case against President Trump and for -- in terms of impeachment here. But what she said that you mentioned here is what really stuck out. Originally, Speaker Pelosi is that she wanted to keep the scope of the impeachment very narrow, keeping it on the Ukraine. But yesterday implying that this could go beyond just that phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): There were 11 obstruction of justice provisions in the Mueller report. Perhaps some of them will be part of this. But again, that will be part of the inquiry to see where we go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So obviously there we're going to have to wait and see what comes out in this evidence, what comes out in these public hearings. And I want to note here, we did hear from the White House Press Secretary after this vote on Thursday essentially saying that Democrats were unhinged and obsessed with President Trump and obsessed with impeaching him.
BLACKWELL: Kristen Holmes who was there at the White House, thank you.
PAUL: CNN Legal Analyst Ross Garber with us now as well as John Bresnahan, the capitol bureau chief for Politico. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. Good morning to you. Ross. I do want to start with you. Let's talk about Rick Perry first of all, he's, of course, as we said, refusing to take part in the closed door deposition considering testifying publicly. We had Shan Wu on last hour who said this strategy is simply a delay. Is there an expectation that he is or could argue executive privilege here?
ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. So, I have very strong doubts about whether Rick Perry will ever testify. He can definitely argue executive immunity, which is what Don McGahn, the former White House counsel argued. In other words, not only does he have to answer questions, but he doesn't even have to show up. He can also argue executive privilege which is even if he shows up there are questions or subject matters that he's not going to talk about.
And, you know, I watched the segment with Shan and Shan is a very good lawyer. Impeachments are sort of confrontation of law and politics. And legally the House can do this, however they want to do it. It's totally up to the house. As a practical and political matter, though, you know, Rick Perry can also decide that he's not going to participate except under certain conditions.
And I think that's the message he's sending here, that maybe, just maybe I'll show up, but the conditions have to be those that I said.
PAUL: OK. John, I want to ask you about a Washington Post article this morning, saying a number of GOP senators are considering acknowledgement, the acknowledgement of President Trump's quid pro quo but saying it is not illegal. What is your reaction to that?
JOHN BRESNAHAN, CONGRESSIONAL BUREAU CHIEF, POLITICO: I mean, I think that's clearly something that members have to talked about in the House and Senate. But right now, I don't see any chance of that really happening. I mean, think about it, you just had the entire House Republican Conference voted unanimously against even beginning impeachment inquiry. And you have a number of vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2020.
I mean, if you make the argument that he did it a quid pro quo, which is something that White House -- acting with as Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has basically admitted. Then, you know, you're making the argument that the President, you know, you're saying it's not illegal, he did it? You know, I mean, that is a -- that's an argument that's going to be hard to justify politically, I think.
And I think, I don't think Trump would go for it as the other part of that I think, you know, in 1998, when they impeach Bill Clinton, you also saw Democratic senators at the time arguing, well, maybe we don't do impeachment, maybe he goes for center and eventually the White House, President Clinton rejected that. And I think in this case, I think President Trump would reject that. If you look at what he said last night, I don't see Trump saying, well, I did it, but it wasn't illegal.
You know, I think his whole basis of everything he said, everything I've done is great. What a wonderful call. I want to read a transcript publicly of my call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. So I have a hard time seeing Trump right now taking that kind of stance.
PAUL: President Trump absolutely. But the Washington Post citing Senator Ted Cruz saying it's not illegal unless there's corrupt intent, and that such conditions are a tool of foreign policy. Ross, is there a space for quid pro quo to not be illegal?
GARBER: Yes. And this is something that I've been talking about for weeks now. I think it's inevitably where the White House is going to wind up. I think -- I think there's been sort of a little bit of a misunderstanding about what quid pro quo means. You know, we normally don't speak a lot of Latin, right? Quid pro quo means this for that.
And the point that Mick Mulvaney made was that, yes, there are trades all the time in Washington, there are trades all the time involving foreign policy. We set conditions on foreign aid. The big question, though, is not the this for that. It's the intent. It's -- if President Trump was doing this exchange, this condition for the good of the American people, for the good of the government. Well, that's one thing. That's not crime, that's not impeachable.
If on the other hand, what he was trying to do is invite -- advance his campaign or his personal interests. Well, that could be another matter. So I think that's where we're going to wind up. The President's going to say, yes, I was conditioning, foreign aid on corruption issues. My motivation was to root out corruption. The question will be, was that happening or was it really personal interest or campaign interest?
PAUL: Uh-hmm. OK. John, you said when it comes to impeachment, you -- and the Democrats or Republicans, you said one side doesn't know how to handle impeachment. The other side is trying to over management -- over manage it. There's a risk of fatigue on both sides here for impeachment.
PAUL: Who in your opinion is most vulnerable to the -- to the push back, to a fatigue morphing into some sort of actual, consequential frustration? Republicans or Democrats?
BRESNAHAN: Well, I think in this case and - you talked about Speaker Pelosi was talking about expanding the potential charges for an impeachment articles to the Mueller report, something that comes out of the Mueller report. Now, the problem there is timing. How long would that take Democrats, that the argument about just keeping it to Ukraine has been like this is a specific incident with a very specific, you know, criminal allegation there that Trump was trying to do something to benefit his reelection campaign.
If you extend it to Mueller, which of course there were no criminal charges there, you brought it and that's going to take more time. But of course, the other side of that coin is, you know, you -- they have the Mueller report, Mueller did all that work, they've got it there. Why not use it? So -- but I do think, you know, for Democrats, they, you know, they're going to push this probably to 2020.
I think for them, there's a danger of, you know, are they using this as a -- as a club to hit Trump during his reelection campaign? It's just blatantly political. And at that point, I think there'd be a danger right now. I think they're strong ground. I mean, all the polling shows there are stronger and looking in Ukraine. So they expanded as when they, you know, the clock becomes a problem for them.
PAUL: All righty. Ross, I want to look ahead to next week with you. We know that the chairman of the U.S. House Intel Committee says releasing transcripts, they're going to be releasing transcripts of the closed door depositions, could begin as early as next week. What would those transcripts look like? How transparent you anticipate they'd be?
GARBER: Well, so we heard from Chairman Schiff that he wants to release these transcripts and that he wants them to be as complete as possible. But I think they're going to do is go through them and try to take out, you know, class -- any classified information, any really, really sensitive information. But otherwise, I think we're going to get probably pretty extensive transcripts. And so we'll get to see what these witnesses had to say.
What we should expect to hear from Republicans and the Trump administration though, is that those transcripts are only a snapshot because the President's lawyers weren't allowed to be in the room. The President's lawyers weren't allowed to cross examine these witnesses. So even though we're seeing the transcripts, we're still not getting a complete picture. I think that's what we should expect to hear but the transcripts will definitely be interesting.
PAUL: Hmm. Ross Garber, John Bresnahan, we appreciate both of you being here. Thank you, gentlemen.
GARBER: Good to see you.
BLACKWELL: Listen to learn more about the impeachment inquiry, the witnesses the testimony, the latest evidence, be sure to join Anderson Cooper for a CNN Special. The White House in Crisis, the Impeachment Inquiry. Tomorrow night, starting at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
PAUL: Some new polling in Iowa have Mayor Pete Buttigieg as a top contender and while it's still early in the race at the end of the day. He is making one bold prediction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think this is getting to be a two-way. It's early to say it. I'm not saying it is a two-way. But I think --
JOHN HEILEMANN, NBC NATIONAL-AFFAIRS ANALYST: But you see them, you see it's coming into focus, you and Warren?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Meantime, an Amazon Echo could hold key evidence in the murder of a young woman in Florida.
PAUL: Wildfires are still burning in California. Ivan Cabrera is monitoring the condition.
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I am. Critical conditions that continue there and the California has the forecast and a look as well at the climate impact on all of this. That's coming up. You're watching CNN.
BLACKWELL: Big weekend for Democrats in Iowa this morning. A lot of them are in 2020 candidates I should say not just Democrats in general. And they're making their way around the state pitching themselves to likely voters.
PAUL: Yes. Pete Buttigieg though. He is the one making some headlines after his speech in Iowa's liberty and justice celebration last night. CNN Jeff Zeleny is in Des Moines. Jeff, good early morning to you on a Saturday.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. It was a big night for Democrats. Some 13,000 Iowa Democrats and some from out of state who are visiting as well. We're listening to a parade of speeches from some 13 Democratic candidates. And you're right South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is on the rise here in Iowa. A recent pull out yesterday shows that he is in the top of the pack with Elizabeth Warren, with Bernie Sanders, with Joe Biden.
He's been spending a lot of that money he's been raising throughout the year trying to build a team here. And it is all about message and momentum and movement. So at that dinner last evening, the same dinner that launched Barack Obama some 12 years ago, these candidates were making their case and taking on President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight, all of us, no matter what candidate we are supporting, are in agreement that We must defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The first thing we have to do is get rid of Donald Trump, get him out of office. And once that happens, the road is clear for significant change.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not running some consultant-driven campaign with some vague ideas that are designed not to offend anyone. I'm running a campaign based on a lifetime of fighting for working families.
BUTTIGIEG: And if talking about hope, and belonging, sounds optimistic to you for a time like this fine. Call it optimistic, but do not call it naive because I believe these things not based on my age but based on my experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So those words there from South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg that don't call me naive. That was the essential message that he's like, look, I am ready to be president. I am ready to make this case. Of course voters will make that decision in about three months' time when Iowa does begin the 2020 voting early next year. But it was the sharp words from Elizabeth Warren, you heard it right there really drawing a line inside the party going after some of her rivals like Joe Biden, like Pete Buttigieg, like Amy Klobuchar for, you know, suggesting that they're taking too small of an approach.
Not going all in for big structural change, but it's her plans like Medicare for All and other matters that really are under the microscope here. Is she calling for too much change? So the big interesting thing at that dinner last night, you could see the crowds there, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren really showing the strength of the organization, Joe Biden's crowd was much smaller.
Of course, it depends on the crowd on caucus night, which is about three months away. Victor and Christi?
BLACKWELL: Jeff Zeleny will be back with us a little later to talk about a few of those specific set early for us this morning. Jeff, thank you.
PAUL: So he's talking about Mayor Buttigieg there and the mayor is picking up some steam in Iowa. He's making a very bold prediction about 2020 as well. He told ShowTime's The Circus that he believes the race is going to come down to Elizabeth Warren and himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTTIGIEG: I think this is getting to be a two-way. It's early to say it. I'm not saying it is a two-way. But I think --
HEILEMANN: But you see them, you see it's coming into focus, you and Warren?
BUTTIGIEG: Yes. And certainly a world where we're getting somewhere is that world where it's coming down to the two of us. Obviously, there's a lot of candidates and a lot of things can happen. But I think that as that happens, the contrast become clear. Look, the contrasts are real. They're substantive, respectful policy contrast, but they're real.
HEILEMANN: First of all, it's interesting. You say that, right? So you accept the notion right now that it's kind of Warren against the field, really?
HEILEMANN: If someone's trying to become the alternative to Warren right now, right?
BUTTIGIEG: Yes. I think it's shaping up that way.
HEILEMANN: And so, the former vice president states is like, in your mind at this point already, like gone?
BUTTIGIEG: I would say this either he is the unstoppable front runner and we can all go home or he's not. And anybody who's in this race is pure on the assumption that he's not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: South Bend Mayor there is expected to speak at three separate events today also holding a town hall of his own tonight.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, a new report this morning that Republicans are shifting the strategy of defense to the president in the impeachment inquiry. But does it complicate the messaging coming from the White House? We'll talk about that.
PAUL: And an arrest in Chicago for the shooting of a seven-year-old girl who is just trick or treating.
PAUL: 25 minutes past the hour this morning. And California's governor says he's going to help one of the state's biggest power companies out of bankruptcy. Even if he has to do the job for them. We're talking about PG&E having to shut off power to tens of thousands of people in California during the latest string of wildfires. But the company filed for bankruptcy back in January.
BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, another power company says it may be responsible for the latest Maria fire. A Southern California Edison says it had turned off the circuit for safety reasons but when it turned it back on, the Maria fire broke out.
PAUL: CNN Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera in the CNN Weather Center. Help us understand what's happening in California today, Ivan.
CABRERA: Hey, guys. Good morning. Yes. We're going to talk about the conditions that I'm expecting the last couple of days but also what is driving all this. So, right, lot of folks have been asking about that. By the way that Kincade Fire in Northern California, they've been talking about, that one has better containment as conditions are -- and have been improving there. Over 70 percent containment.
This is going to be the issue today, I still think for one more day Southern California, we're still looking at humidity single digit. I mean, it doesn't get the worse than that. We're talking about very dry fields. Of course, that has been an ongoing problem, which I'll talk about in a second here. But 30 to 35 mile an hour winds, that is better than where we have been over the last several weeks at this point here.
But that's still going to be gassy especially through the afternoon as the winds come down the mountains here and into the valleys. That's going to be an issue ongoing over the next couple of days. And then major improvements, I think, to the early part of next week. All right. So average number of wildfires in the western U.S. This has been going up in the 80s. We averaged about 140, in the 90s, about 160.
And now we're talking about average wildfires. We're talking about the large ones, right? Over 250 across the region here. What is happening? Climate has a lot to do with it here, those Santa Ana wind events are becoming more intense. The jet stream, that is what drives the weather across the planet, right? And so what happens when you warm up the earth that is going to have an impact on the jet stream.
So you're going to have unusual weather patterns that set up. Big traps, big dips in the jet stream, that actually amplifies, makes it more intense as far as the Santa Ana winds. And sometimes, you have what we call blocking patterns. And so, the weather conditions persist for days and at times weeks, and that makes obviously the fire conditions so worse here. So we have a setup here in California where not only do we have a longer fire season.
You were talking about a very warm, very large, warm season as far as the extension of it there and then you have to add the dry fuels because you get less rain, you get more dry vegetation, that sets up the fire seasons to be extended and we've been talking officials, you know, now this is no longer a fire season, we're talking about basically fires that can erupt anytime throughout the year.
And so that fire season not only is extended but when the fires do break out, they become uncontrollable because of that climate pattern change that we talk about. Those Santa Ana winds. We were clocking winds last week guys, about 90, 95 mile-an hour winds, that's equivalent to a category two hurricane. So it is very difficult to fight fires when you're talking about category two hurricane force winds and the firefighting efforts out there.
Thankfully, the winds have now subsided big time over the next few days and that will allow for more containment I think, especially in Southern California.
PAUL: My goodness. That's crazy. Ivan, thank you so much.
CABRERA: You bet.
PAUL: And, you know, for ways that you can help on fire evacuees, in the short and the long term because there are needs for shelter, food, mental health services, just go to our website, CNN.com/impact.
BLACKWELL: A 15-year-old is scheduled to appear in court today in Chicago. Accused of shooting a seven-year-old girl trick or treating for Halloween. And the teenager is facing two counts of attempted first degree murder. And two counts of aggravated battery. The police say the girl dressed as a bumblebee was that with a family when a group of men chasing another man started shooting.
That girl was shot in the neck and the last check she's still in critical condition at a hospital. A 31-year-old man was also shot but he's expected to be OK.
PAUL: Well, a man in Florida is accused of murdering his wife. He says it was an accident. Why police are looking at the couple's Amazon Echo to get to the bottom of it?
BLACKWELL: Plus, a player on the World Series Champion, Washington Nationals says he's not going to the White House to meet President Trump.
BLACKWELL: As House Democrats vote to move the impeachment investigation to a more public phase; some Republicans are now shifting their strategy to defend the president. This is from the Washington Post. Senate Republicans, some of them are ready to acknowledge a quid pro quo with regard to that call with Ukraine but they are insisting the president's actions were not illegal and do not rise to the level of impeachment. So, let's talk about this.
With us now, CNN political commentator and host of the Honestly Speaking with Tara podcast, Tara Setmayer. And former lieutenant governor of South Carolina Andre Bauer. Andre, it's been a minute since you've been on, congratulations on the new baby.
ANDRE BAUER, FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you, Victor. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Tara, welcome to you as well.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you.
BAUER: Nothing like starting at 50.
BLACKWELL: Well, I tell you when I start.
SETMAYER: Good for you, Andre.
BLACKWELL: I tell you when I start. All right, so, let's start here with what we're getting from the Washington Post. Senators now willing to acknowledge -- yes, it was a quid pro quo. You think that's -- one, are you willing to acknowledge what acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that this was a quid pro quo? And you think it's right for Senate Republicans to do so too?
BAUER: Well, I don't think it was quid pro quo. I think the bigger quid pro -- what a real quid pro quo is when Joe Biden straight-up said, I gave him six hours, I told him if they didn't drop it they weren't going to get the billion dollars. And what do you know? They dropped it.
And so, Trump to me, said it in a jovial manner. He said, look, you'll ought to investigate this guy's sons making $50,000 a month. He gave him --
BLACKWELL: With jovial manner. How did you get jovial out of a written partial transcript?
BAUER: Again, he's let the transcripts out. You can argue them any way you want. But again, the real quid pro quo should be somebody says, you're not getting the money, we're going to hold it, and I told them -- and he says it in a videoed interview, and his sons making $50,000 from the company that's being investigated --
BLACKWELL: So -- OK, and we should also say that what you're suggesting is that the Biden's did something wrong. There's no evidence to suggested that what they did wrong -- that they did something wrong with that it was illegal.
But, are you siding with the president here saying that it was a perfect call?
BAUER: I don't see a problem with it. If they can bring out more evidence, I'm willing to look at anything. But I think the Democrats are doing themselves an injustice especially to a lot of these swing seats.
The people out in there -- in the -- in the -- in the working class, this is not an issue to them. They don't see it. I think they're missing it and it's it -- you know, I don't like using the word witch- hunt, but again, they continue to go down these rabbit holes to where they think they're going to get something, they're not.
BAUER: Trump way back when said, look, my building was wiretapped and everybody laughed at him. And he was actually right. I remember defending it on the show.
BLACKWELL: No, he wasn't actually right. Tara, let me come to you before we go down to a line of just debunked conspiracy theory.
SETMAYER: Oh, my gosh. Conspiracy theory nonsense? Yes.
BLACKWELL: Let me -- let me ask you, we -- the president has -- was about to turn no quid pro quo into the 2019 version of no collusion. Now, there are some senators who were saying, yes, it was a quid pro quo but it wasn't illegal. Is that smart strategically?
SETMAYER: Well, they don't have a choice, the evidence is overwhelming. With all due respect to my friend, Andre, the president in the United States absolutely engaged in a quid pro quo. He admitted it himself. Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff admitted it and said, yes, that's why we held back the money.
I mean, a quid pro quo is obvious and everything that's going on, it's in the transcript. It's also -- you know, Andre doesn't seem to find it alarming but Lieutenant Colonel Vindman found it alarming enough that he went to his superiors twice to report the phone call and what was going on with Ukraine and Rudy Guiliani in the shadow diplomacy.
You had the White House -- one of the White House lawyers putting the phone call transcript in a secret server that's not used for those purposes. Why are they trying to cover it up? You had the ambassador Taylor, who's a 50-year servant on this country.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and -- let me -- yes.
SETMAYER: You know, decorated war veteran and ambassador in many places. He testified clearly that there was a quid pro quo going on, he has concerned to national security. So, it's unequivocal what's going on here.
BLACKWELL: Tara, let me -- let me jump in here. Let me jump in here. Andre, if this was such a perfect call, you didn't see anything wrong with it. Colonel Vindman testified this week that -- he is the president's top Ukraine expert testified that he was told by the White House lawyer John Eisenberg not to discuss the president's call.
Then, Eisenberg and other National Security Council lawyers put it in this higher security server. If it was such a perfect call --
BLACKWELL: Why was there so much energy inside the White House exerted to limit access to keep people from talking about it, potential criminal referrals? If everything was OK, why were there so many career diplomats concerned about what the president said? SETMAYER: Including John Bolton, go ahead.
BAUER: Well, again, I don't know that they are. I know -- you can find anybody to take anything out of context. You won't but I watch this with the Mueller investigation for two year --
BLACKWELL: What's out of context?
SETMAYER: Vindman was on the call.
BLACKWELL: What -- hold on Tara.
BAUER: Wasted $30 million from taxpayer on the -- on the collusion -- the Russia collusion. This is -- when I (INAUDIBLE) Russian collusion --
BLACKWELL: Point specifically. Andre, point specifically to what was taken. Andre, Andre, you had to pause here because I have to ask you a question.
BAUER: I got a question for you. Why is Joe Biden not collusion?
BLACKWELL: Andre, Andre.
BAUER: Why is Joe Biden not collusion?
SETMAYER: I'm happy to answer that.
BAUER: He says it's a quid pro quo.
BLACKWELL: Andre, hold on -- hold on -- hold on. I want an answer to the initial question and Andre, I do the asking of questions. I then offer you the opportunity to answer them. So, the question is, if this was such a perfect call, why was there so much energy exerted to block access to keep people from talking about it, referrals over to DOJ if everything was OK?
BAUER: I have no idea what -- why I certainly -- look, government bureaucrats do a lot of things that, that I would question. I don't have the exact information on what they said. So, I can't comment on it.
But again, we're investigating something that's not nearly as quid pro quo as a guy that on camera says, I withheld the money, what do you know, they gave up the investigation on my son.
BLACKWELL: Can we just clear up --
SETMAYER: Can we please stop with this --
BLACKWELL: Can we just clear up though that most of the Western world when Viktor Shokin --
BAUER: I know that you all don't want to talk about it.
BLACKWELL: But no, let's talk specifically about it. Most of the Western world wanted the Ukrainian general prosecutor Viktor Shokin removed because they thought he was not doing enough to investigate corruption. That European allies with the U.S. wanted him out.
Christine Lagarde of the IMF was so disappointed with the work that he was doing that she was going to hold back billions of dollars.
BAUER: Hunter Biden wanted them out.
BLACKWELL: So, you're trying to change or shift what actually was happening in 2016 that what Vice President Biden --
BAUER: If that's not quid pro quo, there is no quid.
BLACKWELL: Tara, go ahead.
SETMAYER: It -- Hunter Biden's company was not being investigated at the time of this. It had nothing to do with the Ukrainian.
BAUER: He has the direct interest. His son has been paid $50,000 by holding investigated.
BLACKWELL: Hold on -- hold on -- hold on.
SETMAYER: Let me answer it, Andre. You put out this false conspiracy theories.
BLACKWELL: Andre, hold on. Tara.
SETMAYER: Let me answer it.
BAUER: I mean it take at how it did goes that is.
SETMAYER: So, the Hunter Biden company was not under investigation at the time. Joe Biden went there as a messenger on the official business of the United States government, as Victor said, and the most of the Western world including the Ukrainian Parliament which overwhelmingly voted to fire this prosecutor, because he was not investigating corruption.
So, stop with this already. This is a conspiracy theory nonsense that you're trying to (INAUDIBLE) Joe Biden (INAUDIBLE).
BAUER: There's no conspiracy.
SETMAYER: What you -- yes, it is. It is a conspiracy theory. This is -- this is different. When the vice president is going to bring a message to the official U.S. government that has nothing to do with him personally.
BAUER: It's verbatim. He says, I'm withholding the money if you don't do this.
SETMAYER: Unlike what Donald Trump was doing, asking a foreign -- pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political rival in order to help him in his campaign. So much so that John Bolton called it a drug deal between Mick Mulvaney and Rudy Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani is running around in shadow diplomacy with a bunch of Russian-backed freak and frack guys over here. Parnas and Fruman doing God-knows-what corruption there.
BAUER: Yes, they are called the Podesta brothers.
SETMAYER: Then you have the inspector general, the intelligence community who was a Trump appointee found the whistleblower complaint to be credible.
BLACKWELL: OK. All right.
SETMAYER: These are not deep state (INAUDIBLE), these are Trump people.
BAUER: It's like investigating Trump and not investigating Hillary Clinton when you want to talk about Russian collusion.
SETMAYER: We're talking Hillary Clinton, Andre? Really, we're going back the Hillary Clinton nonsense in 2016?
BLACKWELL: All right. OK. We're done -- we're done with this conversation. We're done with this conversation.
I thought this was going to be a talk about strategy from the Republicans who are now acknowledging quid pro quo.
SETMAYER: Right. BLACKWELL: We hope to get to the polling that shows that although we've seen three weeks of revelations that 49 percent, just like they were three weeks ago support the removal of the president after impeachment.
Instead, we had to go down this road of debunked conspiracies and fact-check for 4-1/2 minutes. Andre Bauer, Tara Setmayer --
SETMAYER: Yes. He prepared. This is what Trump -- this is what Trump people are going to do because they can't bring back the facts.
BLACKWELL: Thank you very much. We'll take a break, we'll be back.
BLACKWELL: In the hours after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death, President Trump, said the terrorist was whimpering and crying and screaming all the way to his end. Well, the only problem is there is no evidence to support that claim.
PAUL: According to The New York Times, the officials who oversaw the operation have no idea what the president was talking about. The surveillance drone video President Trump watched in the Situation Room had no live audio.
BLACKWELL: When pressed, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said this. Is it not possible to just celebrate that a terrorist murderer and rapist has been killed? No answer to the specific of that question.
PAUL: The CNN has gained exclusive access inside a Syrian prison where ISIS fighters aren't aware that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.
BLACKWELL: One of the prisoners -- a dual American citizen described the sense of betrayal he feels, and how he wants to return to the U.S. to face justice. Here's Nick Paton Walsh, his exclusive report.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This wasn't the ending they were promised, even if it begins to feel eternal. ISIS foreign fighters, so long as these bars in Syria hold, no longer a threat to the outside world, and no longer aware of what's happening outside in it.
LIRIM SULEJMANI, ISIS PRISONER: We don't get much information of outside -- what's happening.
WALSH: This man says his name is Lirim Sulejmani and is a dual American citizen. He has no idea that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi has been killed, just 72 hours earlier, when our cameraman visits. The guards explicitly forbid visitors from breaking the news, so we can only ask, what if? SULEJMANI: If he's killed, he's killed. For a lot of people, he's already been killed; he's already dead. He -- you know, you don't hear from him, you know. I don't know.
For me, personally, I kind of -- I feel like I was betrayed, you know. So there is no Islamic State anymore. It doesn't exist.
WALSH: Here's a common story in the sea of orange. He was just an engineer who was worried about his wife and three children in camps nearby. Their fate is so uncertain, he says, facing U.S. justice would be preferable to another day here.
SULEJMANI: So, I feel very unsafe, and I -- you know, I want to go back to States. I -- one thing for sure, I don't want to be here.
WALSH: Nobody here has faced a trial or been found guilty, and now many yearn for the due process ISIS denied others in their barbaric rush for blood, pleading to the nations ISIS pledged to destroy.
SULEJMANI: My message to the American people, to Donald Trump -- I mean, there is American citizens. They shouldn't be abandoned. They should be brought to States, face, face the law, and if they committed any crime, or like -- you know, they can be punished, not be left in someplace like a slow death concentration camp.
WALSH: Emaciated, withering, leaderless, ISIS here has not suddenly stopped being a threat. Imagine the rage incubating in these cells. So great, the guards fear what may happen if they learn the news of their leader's death. An anger, their home countries do not, for the most part, want to import back. But that lives on, after Baghdadi's death, in these cells.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Erbil, northern Iraq.
PAUL: So, there's a popular form of exercise that's taking yoga to new heights. In today's "STAYING WELL", we want to introduce you to acroyoga.
KOYA WEBB, HOLISTIC HEALTH COACH: Acroyoga makes me feel confident, strong, and fierce. The acroyoga is all beneficial in mentally, spiritually, and physically. And the physical benefits are massive. It's a release of the tension and the lactic acid that are built up in the muscles.
KAYNA CASSARD, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST: It's a practice of two or more people coming together and doing physical exercises. Where one person is supporting the other person.
These can be static movements or dynamic movements where they're kind of doing like a advance on each other's bodies.
WEBB: Acro is a blend of yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. I think the biggest challenges is getting people over fear. I really have to get the person flying in the base to trust. And if there's a spotter, also then, trusting that I can hold space and I can keep these two people say --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beautiful.
CASSARD: There's not only the physical aspect but the emotional connection when we pay attention to what's happening inside and asking for what we need. We build these muscles to be able to have healthier communication skills.
WEBB: High five.
PAUL: I would fall on my face.
BLACKWELL: Who can do that?
PAUL: I don't know. Well, they can.
BLACKWELL: And pay attention to what's inside.
PAUL: Yes, I'd be going -- I would fall -- I would fall, I don't want to hurt you.
BLACKWELL: The next hour of NEW DAY starts after the break.
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PELOSI: Those in favor, please say, aye.