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Trump's Ambassador Reverses Testimony, Admits Quid Pro Quo; Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) Discuss About The Addendum To The Testimony Of Gordon Sondland That There Is A Quid Pro Quo; Diplomat: Giuliani's Push To Have Ukraine Investigate The Bidens "Improper" And Potentially Illegal; House Dems Call On Mulvaney To Testify As Multiple Officials Fail To Appear For Depositions; First Results in Kentucky Governor's Race; Biden Accuses Warren of Being "Condescending" & An Elitist. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 5, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: ... her a liar. Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied assaulting Zervos. To our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, turning on Trump, an ally does a 180 and changes his sworn testimony now admitting there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine. Plus, Democrats calling the President's Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify. Will he show up? And it's election night in America, polls closing in crucial states across the country. John King is here with the very latest at the Magic Wall. Let's go out front.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, a really stunning reversal. The President's Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland suddenly remembering, it appears, there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine. According to his testimony, which he amended just yesterday, Sondland told lawmakers about a conversation he had with a top aide to Ukraine's President and he puts it this way.

"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak," it's a top aide to the Ukraine President, "where I said resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks." Withholding aid until Ukraine announce publicly they were going to investigate the Bidens, that is a quid pro quo and that statement and who is now saying it is key.

It's coming from the President's handpicked ambassador, a close ally of the President. A man who had donated a million dollars to Donald Trump's inauguration and he is with this now addendum to his testimony blowing through the President's main defense here.



There's no quid pro quo.

No quid pro quo.

No quid pro quo.

No quid pro quo.


BOLDUAN: Gordon Sondland now joining the list of officials who also have testified under oath that Donald Trump, the administration was withholding crucial military aid in exchange for investigations into his political rivals. But Sondland's testimony undercuts Trump's defense in another way, the timing.

Sondland's conversation with the Ukrainian official about the quid pro quo took place on September 1st in Warsaw, Poland. That is when Vice President Mike Pence was meeting with Ukraine's President to discuss military aid.

Shortly after that high level meeting, Sondland now testifies that is when he has a sidebar meeting with Zelensky's aide and that is when he told him directly that the aid was unlikely to unfreeze without the announcement of investigations. In that context, remember this, a major talking point for the President and his allies has been the following; withholding the money was fine and didn't amount to a quid pro quo because Ukraine didn't know the aid was being withheld.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): How do you have a quid pro quo when the person who is the subject of the pro said it didn't happen?

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): Neither he or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You can't have a quid pro quo with no quo.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Ukrainians never knew that aid had been withheld and then, of course, maybe most importantly we have the simple fact that Ukrainians did nothing to get the aid release.


BOLDUAN: Didn't know the aid was being withheld. We know Trump has tweeted and retweeted this very defense often, but now we hear from Sondland he said directly that the aid was being withheld, saying that directly to Ukraine, so now what? Kaitlan Collins is out front live from the White House. Kaitlan, what is the response from the White House to the release of this testimony today?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we haven't seen President Trump today. He has made no public appearances yet, but we did get a statement from the Press Secretary long after these transcripts were released pointing to certain parts of Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker's testimony, but largely ignoring the fact that Sondland, this Ambassador to the European Union made a massive reversal in his amended testimony that he added there at the end in what was released today.

And they have not acknowledged at all the fact that in that amended testimony, he directly tied the investigation into the Bidens to that military aid and the announcement of that investigation, that is something that they just aren't acknowledging, which is pretty noteworthy, since you just talked about the fact that that has been one of the President's main defenses here.

The question is going forward what are they going to say, because we know they've been watching the release of these transcripts really closely, believing in fact that releasing them would in some way help exonerate or redeem the White House because they thought Democrats were only selectively leaking parts of it that had happened behind closed doors. But now when you read these testimonies in full, you see that there's not a lot of parts that are redeeming for the President so far at least that's what White House officials are saying.

The question is going to be, will they try to distance themselves from Gordon Sondland, it's going to be a pretty difficult task given the fact that he's someone who donated a lot of money to the President.


He was a senior aide in this administration and, of course, a crucial point, he had direct conversations with the President about what was happening here when other officials were raising concerns which he testified that in one conversation the President he said believe was in a bad mood and didn't hang up on him, but hung up very quickly after he asked the President what it was he wanted from Ukraine.

BOLDUAN: Yes, firsthand account and direct access to the President. Those two things we definitely see in this testimony. Great to see you, Kaitlan, so thanks so much.

OK. Out front tonight with me now is Democratic Congressman Adriano Espaillat. He sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, one of the committees that has been conducting these interviews. And I know, Congressman, you've been sitting in on some of these key interviews as well.

What is your reaction then to this addendum to the testimony coming from Sondland saying in this testimony that he told a top Ukraine official that the aid was not likely to be - to unfreeze, if you will, if they don't make this announcement about investigations.

REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): This could be a smoking gun and I think that first for the Republicans, they question the process. A process that they were in. They were in the room questioning the witnesses, including Sondland.

Then they went ahead and they question our vote. Then, of course, just a couple of days ago, they questioned the whistleblower. I suspect that tomorrow, Kate, they're going to question the addendum to the testimony of someone as well.

BOLDUAN: Do you see this as a smoking gun?

ESPAILLAT: I believe that is a smoking gun. I think that Sondland is a credible witness, he's someone that has been in communications with the President back and forth. He amended his testimony. I was in the room where he testified before the Committees.

BOLDUAN: That was October 17th.

ESPAILLAT: That's correct and I questioned him. And then he came back yesterday and he amended his testimony to reflect that. In fact, he did have communications with the Ukrainians about military aid.

BOLDUAN: Why do you think he that?

ESPAILLAT: I think maybe he's looking at what could happen to him and he wanted to be as precise and as transparent as possible.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, do you think then he was lying to you on October 17th or do you leave open the possibility that as he wrote in the addendum, the two statements from two other officials refreshed his memory about this encounter in Warsaw, Poland?

ESPAILLAT: The day after I was part of that process in the Committee that he was either playing dumb or he was lying through his teeth. Because many of the things that he was saying back then which some of which he amended now were really incomprehensible. And I think that he's someone that's in contact with the President, he was in contact with the Ukrainian officials, he knew about Burisma, I think he knew about that Hunter Biden was a member of Burisma, although in the committee hearings he said he didn't find out about that until the very end.

This is someone that said that corruption was a major problem in the Ukraine. There's hundreds of companies there that are involved in corruptions, yet they select the one company, Burisma, which is the one where Hunter Biden was affiliate. I think he knew that. I think they targeted it. They cherry-picked that company and they wanted the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens.

BOLDUAN: So then what questions do you have for Sondland now? What is your question now to him? I mean, I would assume that he's going to be one of the people that would be called for a public hearing.

ESPAILLAT: Well, we'll leave it to the public hearing. I think that he has lots of questions to answer. I think some of the questions may be what connections, direct connections he had with the President, what communications he had with the presidents vis-a-vis this conversation with the Ukrainians.

BOLDUAN: That may or may not be key, because here's one thing that he said in his testimony, let me read it for you. He said, "I did not know (and still do not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended." He is not saying that he knows a link, he is saying he does not know where this direction came from. That led him to tell this top aide in Ukraine.

ESPAILLAT: This is like who's on first and who's on second. This is more ...

BOLDUAN: You don't believe this.

ESPAILLAT: ... no, I don't believe that. Absolutely not. I think there's credible evidence. I would like to see Taylor testify again publicly.


ESPAILLAT: Of course, Lieutenant Colonel was very credible as well and even Volker himself stated to Rudy Giuliani that the former Ukrainian prosecutor was not credible that he was not to be trusted. So there's a lot of testimonies there that lead to the reality that there was a conversation.

BOLDUAN: So let me ask you this and let me play for you Mark Meadows. His reaction today when asked about this, this seems to be the next defense that Republicans are now saying is that there is no link, as you're mentioning, no link to the President when it comes to a quid pro quo and so there is nothing there there. Listen to this.


REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC): Any linkage that has been alleged, obviously, is based on many times second or third hand information. But I can tell you each and every time that the conversations were conducted with either the President of the United States or the Vice President of the United States, there was no linkage.



BOLDUAN: No linkage to the President. I mean, so what do you do with that? He's not moving. It's not changing (inaudible) ...

ESPAILLAT: Look, Kate, I think the American people will make up their minds when they hear the public testimony once again from the Lieutenant Colonel, from Sondland, from Taylor and all of the other witnesses. This is again Mr. Meadows and others saying first, it was the problem of the process. Mr. Meadows was right there and (inaudible) ...

BOLDUAN: But if you don't have someone linking it to the President, do you think that's a problem for you?

ESPAILLAT: We'll see what they say publicly and you will judge for yourself, as well the American people, whether or not the President has something to do with it. I believe he did.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, thanks for coming in. An important day ...

ESPAILLAT: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: ... and there's much more to come. I really appreciate your time. All right. OUTFRONT for us next, we have a breaking news continues, Gordon Sondland testifies Rudy Giuliani's push to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens he thinks that may have been illegal.

Plus, one of Trump's former top experts on Ukraine admits the President is pushing a baseless conspiracy theory, but will that stop the President now? And Joe Biden with some of his harshest words yet for Elizabeth Warren saying her politics are elitist and condescending. Will it put a dent in Warren's momentum?



BOLDUAN: Breaking news, revealed in the transcripts just released, President Trump's hand-picked Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, testifying that he believed efforts by Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine appeared to be illegal. This as Sondland also revised his testimony just yesterday to say there was a quid pro quo, linking aid to Ukraine to announcing investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Out front now former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean, CNN Senior Political Reporter Nia Malika Henderson, Joe Lockhart who was press secretary for President Clinton during his impeachment investigation, of course, and former Republican Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

John, I want to start with you, I mean you have Sondland pointing this finger at Rudy Giuliani, but I do want to ask first about the big headline tonight which is that Sondland is now saying that he alerted Ukraine that the aid was unlikely to unfreeze unless they announce investigations. Is it at all plausible that Sondland just remembered this point?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I suppose it's possible. It's certainly an argument he could make now if he is ever charged with perjury. Not likely would a prosecutor come back after somebody has corrected on that point. But he has so many other flaws in his testimony that I just think this sort of flags the problems with his testimony.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean, Nia, you have to say one thing about him, this is not someone that the President is going to be able to call a never Trumper as he has dismissed other witnesses, that's for sure. I mean is this a game changer in terms of the course of the investigation? We just had Democratic Congressman on who said he sees this as a smoking gun.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think a lot of people who are looking at this, particular Democrats have seen smoking guns all along the way.

BOLDUAN: Good point.

HENDERSON: Whether it was the whistleblower testimony, whether it was what came out of Bill Taylor's deposition, Vindman's deposition as well. So essentially they're kind of been building blocks and most of this testimony just corroborating this initial idea that's laid out in the transcript that the President release or the memo of the phone call which is that there does seem to be a favor for a favor, quid pro quo, in terms of what the President is asking Zelensky to do.

And so I think Sondland's testimony was always something of a mystery, because his testimony seemed to be at odds with a couple of others; Morrison's and Taylor's, for instance. And so now, and he said this essentially, his memory has been refreshed because of the testimony out of some of his colleagues there in putting him in a place where he couldn't recall.

His initial testimony 10 hours or so was full of he couldn't recall things and now he is updating it. And so, yes, I think if you're Democrat, you're happy about this, I think if you're a Republican, it's more of the same. Maybe you're even reading the testimony. And, Lindsey Graham, basically is saying he's not really even reading what's coming out of these transcripts from these depositions.

BOLDUAN: And Senator, I have been curious since this addendum, revised testimony came out, what the reaction would be from Republicans. I mean, first, we know that the Republican allies on the Hill had said there was no quid pro quo, mirroring what the President continues to say.

Then, you have Mick Mulvaney who blew that defense up, so they moved to it's not a quid pro quo because Ukraine didn't know that any of the aid was held up. They now no longer can say that either with this revised testimony, is this troubling to you?

RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, 2012 & 2016: I think the way most Republicans see this is this statement today, it may be a smoking gun but it's a smoking gun from the Keystone Cops. So I don't think anybody sees it as a serious blow to the President.

The reality is I think Republicans see this just on a variety of fronts. Number one, the President has maintained that there wasn't a quid pro quo and the transcript backs that up. I think as Republicans read it, I know other people read it differently the way I read it and I think most Republicans read it is that the President was not in any way offering a quid pro quo in this conversation, which is what we know the President said and that's hard fact. Everything else is just people's opinion.

BOLDUAN: Forget the phone call, I mean, honestly this wasn't about the phone call.

SANTORUM: No, I understand.

BOLDUAN: This is not about a phone call. This is about a direct statement from a close ally of the President who seemed to have dawned on him that he thinks that it was somehow very important to tell a Ukrainian counterpart that the aids unlikely to unfreeze unless there is an announcement on investigations on December 1st.

SANTORUM: I understand. What I'm saying as Republicans look at this, they're looking at all of these second and third-hand accounts of what people thought maybe was being related or what they thought they should be saying or what was going on.


But the only thing we have from the President himself is the transcript and that is pretty clear that there is, at least, to Republicans that there's no quid pro quo. And so I'm just saying all of this other stuff is just people's opinion as to what the policy of the administration was or what they believed it should be. I don't know, I think Republicans are waiting to see how all of this conjecture on the parts of all these testimony holds up under cross- examination and scrutiny once their stories get examined by the White House counsels.

BOLDUAN: Joe, that gets directly to what I've now heard several times in terms of there's no, from Republicans, is there's no linkage, there's no direct - my name is Donald Trump and I am telling you to tell Ukraine that they cannot have this aid unless they announce an investigation. The White House statement basically gets to that, but Sondland's statement still says that he doesn't know when and from whom this came to him that he was supposed to - I mean, does that give the President wiggle room?

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think so. I think one of the reasons why that hasn't been laid out in the specificity of some of the other things is the White House is stonewalling. And they're stonewalling for a reason because if the Committee had access to the documents, they'd understand this. But let's go back to Mick Mulvaney, because I think that is a critical moment in this investigation.

He said there was a quid pro quo. He then also said everything that I did as far as Ukraine, I did it at the direction of the President. That is a direct linkage. He admits there's a quid pro quo and he said I did it at the direction of the President.

BOLDUAN: John, let me ask you this, in what universe does Gordon Sondland tell a top official in Ukraine that you're not going to get this money unless you announce an investigation into the Bidens if he didn't get that directly from the President or if he's confident that's exactly what the President wanted?

DEAN: It's not certainly clear from his testimony, because he says in his testimony he had no direct conversations with the President about this or indeed the fact even that he was the point man on Ukraine. This sort of comes down through the Secretary of State and the National Security Director Bolton at the time. And mysteriously he has all of these powers, but he's never had any contact with the President.

So he's smart enough to know that he shouldn't be talking about what he does and did and did not do with the President and that's exactly one of the gaps in his testimony is that they're just incomprehensible that he can do one thing and say he didn't have any direct linkage with the President.

BOLDUAN: Guys, if you could stand by for me, because out front next we have Democrats. They want to hear from the man, as Joe is just getting to, who said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We do that all of the time with foreign policy.


BOLDUAN: And get over it, so what are the chances that Mick Mulvaney actually shows up now that he's been asked to testify? And the breaking news, election results are coming in from Virginia and Kentucky and what tonight could say about what could happen next year.



BOLDUAN: We have breaking news, Democrats calling on Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify this week as part of the impeachment probe. The same Acting Chief of Staff who held a press conference at the White House in the White House briefing room to defend the President and in doing so said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happened as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all of the time with foreign policy. I have news for everybody, get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy ...


BOLDUAN: He faced so much backlash from even Republicans after that, that Mulvaney had to walk it back or say that he didn't say what he said. On that, let's go out front, Manu Raju is out front for us now.

Manu, we have multiple witnesses this week who have already refused to appear for a variety of reasons, but what is the working assumption here about Mick Mulvaney?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We're not expecting him to show up. The White House pushing back on this earlier today in the aftermath of the Democrats' demands for him to come testify later this week. Already there have been six witnesses, White House officials this week who have not shown up despite being faced with subpoenas demanding their appearance.

Also there are four additional witnesses coming tomorrow. We expect, at least, three of them not to show up. That includes the Energy Secretary Rick Perry, as well as the Head of the White House Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought. And on Thursday, the big day with John Bolton, the former National Security Adviser is scheduled to testify that date.

He, of course, has been mentioned throughout this investigation with witness after witness describing him as concerned about this push to investigate the Bidens and urge Ukrainians to announce that investigation as aid for that country, roughly $400 million had been held up. And then we're not certain whether or not he will come as those discussions continue out behind the scenes.

That leaves it to Friday, when Mick Mulvaney has been asked to come. Democrats are not expecting him to come, but one person who might come, Kate, is Jennifer Williams. She is an aide to Mike Pence and his National Security team. The questions about Mike Pence's role have continued also to percolate throughout this investigation.

We're told that she is likely to appear, so we'll see if she'll ultimately comes. But at the moment, Kate, closed door interview, witnesses are not showing up as Democrats prepare to use that as evidence, in their view, of obstruction of Congress. Kate.


BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Manu.

Everyone is back with me now.

Nia, can you game this one out for me? I mean, it's clearly unlikely Mulvaney will show up. What do the Democrats get here?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: You know, I think, listen, they already have Mick Mulvaney at the White House there essentially what they say is confessing to a quid pro quo, and we, of course, backed away from that and said that he misspoke or something.

So, I think the ultimate plan here is if these folks don't show up as you saw Manu allude to there, that essentially this will be one of the articles of impeachment if this is something that Democrats indeed end up doing filing articles of impeachment against this president. So, obstruction of Congress, contempt of Congress. Contempt of Congress, of course, was one of the three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.

I think you have had Democrats here say essentially they're not going to get roped into a court fight with these folks and they want to keep it moving. And if you've seen so far, in some ways, Democrats are probably been pleasantly surprised with people who have cooperated with this inquiry. There are some people who basically ignored some of the directives from the State Department or the directive from the White House, too, and followed through with subpoenas.

And so, in that way, if you're Democrat, you've got a pretty good pile of evidence and the witnesses you don't get and that just is rolled into an article of impeachment. BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean, John, the statement from the House Democratic

Committee chairs asking Mulvaney to come said this: We believe that you possess substantial first-hand knowledge and information relevant to the House's impeachment inquiry.

I mean, if he did, how big of a deal would this be?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It could be a very big deal. The chief of staff or even acting chief of staff tends to know everything that's going on in the West Wing and probably we'll have a lot of details and a lot of information that hasn't even surfaced.

But what the committee has to be very cognizant of and back when Nia mentioned as article three, they had the linkage and they had a linkage problem. They had to show the president's policy or the president's directives were really his decision that somebody would not appear or somebody would not honor a subpoena, and I don't think they're doing that yet.

BOLDUAN: Senator, back to the transcripts because more came out not just with Gordon Sondland, but with Kurt Volker's testimony being released today. He testified that he does not -- that he does not think that Joe Biden did anything wrong by pushing for the ouster of the Ukraine prosecutor, and Donald Trump has said over and over again, which has been the basis for him calling for an investigation over there, because it came too for corruption, but it really was only about corruption when it came to Joe Biden and his son.

Let me read you what Kurt Volker said about this. He said Biden was executing U.S. policy at the time in what was widely understood internationally to be the right policy.

With that, how do Republicans continue then to say that Joe Biden deserves being investigated which is what Donald Trump points to as the whole point of this entire saga?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, look, that's been the narrative from the very beginning with this. I mean, there's always been a narrative, well, Biden was just following through with an administrative policy and was following through with what, you know, the United Nations were saying and the concern about Ukraine. Well, that maybe true, but, you know, that doesn't mean there isn't something there even though the policy maybe have been a policy that was preferred by those in power at the time.

BOLDUAN: Isn't that exactly what that means? I've had the ambassador from back then who has testified who said that Joe Biden was doing what was policy at the time and what internationally was agreed upon as a good thing. He did not do any wrong. Kurt Volker is saying Biden was in the right?

SANTORUM: The question is whether he had other motives and whether there were other reasons he was doing it and in addition to those, quote, legitimate motives that were talked about. And so, that we don't know, and that's what the president wants to find out and whether there was something else that the vice president knew at the time, and that this approximately see that was at the top was also very consistent with something that he wanted to accomplish on a personal level.

BOLDUAN: Joe, even with the special envoy to Ukraine saying that there was essentially nothing :there there when it comes to Joe Biden. It's still not going to be enough.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's not going to be enough for some who are trying to distract from what's going on with the president. I think what is curious to me is the Republican talking point for the last two days is this is second and third-hand information.


LOCKHART: First off, there's a lot of first-hand information, but it's the president who is keeping Mick Mulvaney from testifying, Rick Perry from testifying, and Mike Pompeo from testifying.


These are people who have first-hand information and if they had exculpatory information I guarantee that they'd be up on the Hill and they'd all share an Uber to talk to the committee. The White House is stonewalling for a reason. John Dean, you know, can give you chapter and verse on why you stonewall. You're hiding your guilt.

And if they continue to say secondhand and third hand, they're walking into an argument that they can't win because you can't get at what -- you know, some of this stuff because they won't let us. If you look at OMB, which held the money up, you will find that someone, probably the chief of staff and this is the way it would have worked in the Clinton White House, the chief of staff would have instructed them, there's a reason to hold the money or send the money. That conversation is not a privileged conversation and it's not talking to the president. That conversation is highly relevant here and the White House is doing everything they can, including defying valid subpoenas, to make sure that these people can't testify.

That is the -- those are the action of a guilty party.

BOLDUAN: Nia, there's what -- let's talk about in terms of Volker. Let's call, I don't know, a complicating factor here, is that in his testimony also deny knowledge of a quid pro quo in testifying that he said this, you asked for conversations I had with the quid pro, et cetera, none, because I didn't know that there was a quid pro quo.

What is the impact when you compare that to Sondland?

HENDERSON: Yes. I mean, here, I think if you're the White House, you are going to try to cling on to that, right? And say listen, this guy was involved and he said there was no quid pro quo, there was testimony from Tim Morrison and he was on the call and didn't seeing about illegal about what was on there, what was said on there. Of course, impeachment didn't have anything to do with being illegal necessarily. So, yes, I mean, the White House is going to try to cherry pick facts that make them look good. I think in terms of Volker, I mean, we do know that there were two tracks of foreign policy here and not everybody was involved in both of those tracks.

BOLDUAN: The three amigos, if you will.

OUTFRONT for us next, we have breaking news. Polls closed in Kentucky and Virginia where the president is not on the ballot, of course, but looms large. John King has the very latest on the results that are coming in at the magic wall.

Plus, former President Obama making a major play this election day. Why are all eyes on Virginia tonight?



BOLDUAN: Breaking news. It is election night in America and we're getting some of the first results that are coming out of Kentucky. All eyes on that governor's race where incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin is in a tough reelection battle against Democratic challenger Andy Beshear, the state's attorney general, of course.

It's a race that we know that the president is watching closely, but let's see what's happening first on the ground.

John King is OUTFRONT with us now at the magic wall.

So, John, what are you seeing so far? Do you -- does it look like this is shaping up to be a competitive race?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPODNENT: We will see. There are some indications it could. If you look at the results right now and you're watching at home and you're not all that familiar with Kentucky, and you would say, oh, the Republican incumbent governor has a 10-point lead over his Democratic challenger. Matt Bevin, seeking a second term, no Republican of Kentucky has ever one of those.

Andy Beshear's dad was governor. He's now the state attorney general. So, he's a well-known Democrat.

So, this was a great race anyway, Kate. It also will give us some clues about 2020, which makes it more important and the president was there last night.

So, if you look at this again, you're saying the Republican incumbent and the Republican state is up by ten points, with 41 percent of the vote in, he's looking strong.

However, I will say this, Andy Beshear so far is overperforming, outperforming, if you will, the Democrat from four years ago when Matt Bevin won. That's 85,000 votes, give or take a few there and the margin then. If you come back now and this at the moment is a closer race. So, if you're in the Democratic campaign, what you're looking for? What you're expecting most of this rural area to fill in red. You're expecting Matt Bevin to win most of that. And the issue is the population is declining and it is growing in the suburban area.

So, first, let's come into an urban area and Louisville, only 4 percent in here. Andy Beshear with a good lead here, I will give you this as we watch forward. As this number grows, that percentage has to grow, too. He needs to win not only by 52.

He needs -- if he take -- if he can take that up and run up the numbers where the people live in the urban areas, it will put them back in play and we'll see if that happens. I just want to show you one area.

Remember in the 2018 midterm, what is the big story? In the Trump presidency, Republicans are getting hammered in the suburbs and that's why Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House. The Covington are up here, the Cincinnati, Ohio suburbs, if you will, in northern Kentucky, just want to go back in time just to show you, right now, Andy Beshear is winning up here. If you go back a few years, Matt Bevin won this area and this part of the state if you pop it out a little bit here. He won it -- not only won it, but he won it pretty comfortably.

So, we'll watch the suburb as this goes on and we have votes to count before we know who's going to win. Again, the Democrat tonight, at the moment, outperforming the Democrat four years ago, and still a lot of votes to count.

BOLDUAN: Fascinating, that's the suburbs, that will -- that's really interesting to watch tonight. So, there's also another big race in Mississippi. What else are you watching for tonight?

KING: But you'll watch the Mississippi race. Again, we always talk about these things in the national context. So, let's just pop this up here and let me get you back to 2019 and we don't have results here yet because the polls close at the top of the hour.

Look, Mississippi is a red state. However, you do have a state attorney general who is a Democrat versus the lieutenant governor who's a Republican. It's an open race, two very well-known names.

Doug Jones did win in Alabama. So, Democrats are looking to see. Is there any clues, any seeds of a potential Democratic comeback in the Deep South which has been ruby red for quite a while? So, we'll watch this race.

Do we expect Mississippi to be competitive in 2020 in the presidential race? No. Might there be a few lessons to tonight? Maybe.

BOLDUAN: There's one prediction for John King early tonight. Great to see you, man. Thanks so much.

KING: Take care, Kate.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next, tough new talk from Joe Biden just coming out, attacking Elizabeth Warren, calling her an elitist, saying her out of touch plans will hand Donald Trump the presidency again in 2020.

Plus, these supporters are dressing to impress the president.



BOLDUAN: Breaking news. Polls are just closed in Virginia, where Democrats are hoping to make history by winning control of both the statehouse and the state senate. If they are successful, it would be the first time in 25 years the Democrats have controlled both chambers, there and the governor's mansion. It's a race that could have major ripple effects far beyond Virginia.

Ryan Nobles is OUTFRONT.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The name Donald Trump isn't on a single ballot in Virginia today.


NOBLES: But the name Debra Rodman is, she is a Democrat and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. She first ran for office in 2017 in response to President Trump's White House victory and says that Trump is a big part of why Democrats in her state are so energized.

RODMAN: I'm excited that there is national focus, but I think this race does -- it's a microcosm of what we're going to see next year nationwide.

NOBLES: Her opponent is Siobhan Dunnavant, a Republican incumbent who is trying to keep Democrats from winning the entire state legislature for the first time in two decades and someone who believes while Washington politics loom large, it's not the entire story.


(on camera): How much people talking to you about President Trump? Is that even an issue that people are concerned with?

SIOBAHAN DUNNAVANT (R), VIRGINIA STATE SENATE: Definitely, people have opinions. You go to the doors, and they're one way or the other, but by the time we're finished talking about local issues and what we're getting done, they're all onboard.

NOBLES (voice-over): But the national attention is undeniable.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here in Virginia, progressives are going to win.

NOBLES: Democratic presidential candidates with their eyes on 2020 have rushed to the commonwealth. In addition to visits from Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden --

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The rest of the nation is watching pup and Virginia, turn Virginia all blue. All blue.

NOBLES: -- former President Barack Obama who carried the state twice tweeted his support of a collection of Virginia Democrats, including Rodman.

That Democratic enthusiasm fueled by opposition to President Trump was evident at the polls today.

JUDI LUNDBERG, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I do care about what's going on in Washington, because it's crap. And I'm embarrassed about what's going on.


NOBLES: Now, we should point out that Republicans still feel that they do have a base of support here in Virginia. Both President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence getting involved in getting out the Republican vote here.

Now, the polls did close about 50 minutes ago, far too early to determine who is coming out on top here. But, Kate, in the past, President Trump said he still believes he can win here in 2020. Just a small example of how there are major national implications for the local races tonight.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Ryan, thanks so much.

OUTFRONT with me now, CNN political director, David Chalian.

So, David, on this, I mean, President Trump has been very, very present in both the Mississippi and Kentucky raise races for example to go there and try and rally supporters ahead of today's vote. He doesn't that really save a tweet in Virginia.

Is there an obvious reason why?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, not just present in the rallies, Kate, also on the airwaves. Both of those Republican gubernatorial candidates eager to show President Trump's embrace of them. They think that is their path to success tonight.

Why doesn't the president go to Virginia? Because the Virginia battle is playing out in suburban areas you were talking to John King about earlier, the very areas that fuelled the rice for Democrats to the House majority in 2018, the areas they have been making inroads in the Trump era in American politics are the areas where a lot of the battleground statehouse and state senate races that can determine total control.

So, the question was Donald Trump going there, would he do more harm than good for the cause?

BOLDUAN: Yes, I want to ask you quick, David, about a big statement that presidential candidate Joe Biden just released on medium. He doesn't name Elizabeth Warren but it's clear who he is talking about. Taking a swipe at her in the piece they put out.

He hits Warren for taking the "my way or highway" approach of her campaign, and calling her approach condescending and also saying this, that it's representative of a elitism that working and middle class people do not share. We know best you know nothing. If you were only as smart as I am, you would agree with me.

That from Joe Biden. I mean, what do you make of it?

CHALIAN: Yes, them are fighting words. No doubt. Joe Biden over the course of the last week to ten days has been sharpening critique of Elizabeth Warren. He is done just dismissing her plans as unrealistic. He is now trying to clearly take her down a notch, seeing a threat there. We're 90 days out from the Iowa caucuses.

And you heard it in his speech on Friday night in Iowa. You heard it throughout the weekend on the campaign trail. This is a Joe Biden sharpening the contrast with Elizabeth Warren.

BOLDUAN: It's fascinating. Great to see you, David. Thank you.

CHALIAN: You too.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on how President Trump's new mantra is starting to wear on his supporters.



BOLDUAN: Dressing to impress the president.

Here is Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The human backdrop behind President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Impeachment witch hunt. Impeachment.


MOOS: Booed and chanted.


MOOS: And kissed. Even translated President Trump's words to gestures.

TRUMP: These people are crazy.

MOOS: But all anyone noticed but what was on the t-shirts they were wearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Read the transcript.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, read the transcript.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Read the transcript. Except that we can't.

MOOS: Because it's not a transcript. It's a summary of President Trump's call with the president of Ukraine. Nevertheless, to convince people.

TRUMP: It was perfect.

MOOS: "Read the transcript' has become the president's mantra.

DON TRUMP, JR., SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: My father put the transcript out, read it.

MOOS: The t-shirts saying read the transcript evoked responses like read the Mueller report. Alternative t-shirt slogans such as I would like you to do a favor though or suggest it.

(on camera): There were plenty of doubters asking whether the human props wearing read the transcript actually read the transcript.

(voice-over): Someone tweeted, so I guess a need a shirt with the actual transcript on it because these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) apparently only read t-shirts and hats.

But Trump supporters love the read the transcript apparel -- classic Trump trolling.

TRUMP: The do-nothing Democrats the hell out of office soon.

MOOS: President Trump said he might read the transcript aloud as a fireside chat on live TV which lit a fire under "Washington Post" writer Jonathan Capehart.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: I would like to you do a favor. There is a lot of talk about Biden's son. So, if you can look into it dot, dot, dot.

MOOS: Now, selling for 30 bucks on the Trump campaign website. Read the transcript t-shirts or maybe you prefer I read the transcript, impeach Trump now, I'll give me this one if you give me that one does that count as quid pro quo.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York --

TRUMP: You know what they say?

MOOS: -- New York.

TRUMP: You know what they say?

(END VIDEOTAPE) BOLDUAN: Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.