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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Whistleblower's Lawyer To W.H.: President Trump's Calls To Publicly Identify My Client By Name "Dangerous And Reckless"; Will Giuliani Be Squarely In Middle Of Impeachment Inquiry?; New Strain Of HIV Discovered; Mike Bloomberg Expected to Register for 2020 Primary; Key Witness Describes Giuliani's "Campaign of Lies". Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 7, 2019 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We start with some very surprising breaking election news. Mike Bloomberg, billionaire businessman and three-time New York City mayor, is preparing to enter the Democratic race. His spokesman said he is expected to file the necessary paperwork to get on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama this week.
Bloomberg, of course, has considered running before. You may recall in March he talked about the, quote, difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.
And here's what he told CNN's Kate Bolduan back in September.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: The truth of the matter is when you look at the layout of who's going to vote and where the country is, I would be very unlikely to get reelected -- to get elected. But in the private sector, I can make a difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, in a statement, taking credit for some of Tuesday's big wins for Democrats, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson explains: The reason for his decision to enter the race now, the current crop of Democratic candidates. Quote: We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated, but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned to do that.
In a CNN poll of polls, Biden leads the pack by 27 percent. Closely behind is a surging senator, Elizabeth Warren, who has unsettled some on Wall Street with her wealth tax and more centrist Democrats with her Medicare-for-All plan. Biden and Warren are the only two above 20 percent. Warren is also tied with Biden in the latest Iowa poll from Monmouth University.
Joining me now, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Paul Begala, Amanda Carpenter, CNN political commentator and author of "Gaslighting America", also "USA Today" columnist and CNN political analyst, Kirsten Powers, and CNN political analyst and "New York Times" national political correspondent, Alex Burns, who first broke the story.
Alex, Mayor Bloomberg has put in the past a lot of money into looking into this and really wanted to, but has decided not to previously. What's different now?
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, the biggest factor is what you just described in that statement is feeling like there is an opening the race that may not have been there six or eight months ago when he decided not to run. Back in March, he was looking at polling that showed Joe Biden was a very formidable front-runner, deep reservoir of goodwill with Democratic voters, particularly those moderate Democratic voters who would be the natural Bloomberg constituency.
The numbers Bloomberg and his advisers are looking at now look less daunting in that department. And the fact of the matter is he is not at a final, final decision according to people who have spoken with him directly, but the earliest filing deadline in the Democratic race is tomorrow in Alabama. If he doesn't file and become a candidate in the next 24 hours, that's one state where he cannot compete.
So, the idea is keep moving forward and put yourself in a position to compete when you really are ready to enter the race.
COOPER: Do you know when he would make that decision?
BURNS: The wait was characterized to me was more likely days than weeks, which leaves a lot of wiggle room. And one of the challenges, look, in reporting on Michael Bloomberg is because his resources are basically limitless, it costs him nothing to rev up for a presidential campaign, even if later he backs away from it.
COOPER: How much of this is kind of, you know, raising this up the flag pole and seeing in the next couple days how it kind of shifts things or people respond?
BURNS: Oh, this is I think much more serious than just a trial balloon. He is making calls to party leaders today. He spoke to Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader from Nevada, on the phone this afternoon. And the way Reid put it when I spoke to him is Bloomberg didn't say he was running, but he wasn't calling just to wish me a good weekend.
COOPER: Paul, what do you make of this? What kind of a candidate Bloomberg -- what do you think he would do in this race? Do you think he would actually win a primary and win the election?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He certainly has the resource.
And, first, congratulations to Alex for his reporting on this.
Those moderate voters, though, that Alex talked about who were for Joe Biden, they're essentially two groups of folks: African-Americans and working class whites. I literally don't know, but I have my suspicions about Mayor Bloomberg's ability to appeal to them.
The path to the Democratic nomination lies through African Americans, especially black women, and I went back today and looked. Since 1968, since they started having primaries in my party, the winner of the black vote has always been the nominee. And we keep obsessing on the white liberals Twitter geeks and their fine. I love them. But the real heart of my party is people of collar and particularly women of color.
And whoever can show me they can appeal to that community I think is the person who is going to be most likely to win.
COOPER: Well, Kirsten, along those lines, I mean, if you're looking at centrist Democrats, you have Joe Biden, Klobuchar, Buttigieg currently in the race that would probably be the -- I mean, just in terms of the highest in the polls in the centrist lane.
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
I think that -- I don't see him as being disruptive to this race perhaps as some people do, because it's not like he comes in and gets coronated, right? He would have to be competing with these other people.
Like Pete Buttigieg who's really on the rise and is doing really well in Iowa, for example. And so, I think the idea that he is going to somehow come in, and, presumably, he would be attacking Warren, right, and what does that -- who does that help?
You know, if he's trying to take, you know, trying to take out Warren, what he is basically doing, let's assume he even -- he garners some of those votes. Now, what he is doing is dividing that moderate vote even more, right? So that actually helps Warren.
So -- and furthermore, just because you're the person making the attacks doesn't mean that you're the person who -- even assuming the attacks are successful, which I don't think they probably would be, but if they were, it doesn't mean that you're the one that gets the benefit. So, he could come in and he could be going after Warren and saying she is too extreme and Medicare for All is going to bankrupt us, but there is no reason to believe that that's going to redound to his benefit.
It could benefit Biden. It could benefit Amy Klobuchar. It could benefit Pete Buttigieg.
COOPER: Alex, do you want --
BURNS: Yes. You know, I wouldn't assume that Bloomberg necessarily gets into this race and immediately goes on the attack. That when he has prepared to run for president in the past, when he was gearing up to run as an independent in 2016, the campaign that they had staged for themselves was not about attacking Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders on the one hand and Donald Trump on the other. It was about running enormous volumes of positive advertising about he is an outsider. He is a problem solver, he is a businessman, this is what I did as mayor of New York.
I think what Kirsten is absolutely right about is his views are absolutely diametrically opposed to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders where the economy is concerned. It would be a real challenge for him and a real opportunity for them given where the Democratic Party is to avoid getting into the kind of fight that would make him look like this plutocrat who is trying to buy a presidency.
COOPER: Right. Amanda, it certainly, a, would seem that suddenly Bloomberg views a weakness in Vice President Biden as a candidate, and also then, he -- yes, this is clearly, I would think, he sees a weakness in the front-runner in the centrist lane, no?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, him getting into the race or even consider it shows there is a weakness or something lacking in the field.
But listen, money is nice. Money is great. It cannot buy you everything, especially two things that are incredibly important in this kind of race.
The one is a tribe. We are in a time of hyper partisan politics, and you need people who are going to be on fire for you that will come to a rally, will knock on doors. And I don't know who the automatic swell of Bloomberg voters would be at this moment in time.
The second thing is it doesn't buy you media chops. I think help has a lot of knowledge, a lot of executive experience. He knows the issues.
He has been funding progressive groups for a long time on things like climate and gun violence, which are important, but is he a vessel for that message? I'm not going to believe he is viable until he starts getting out in the media and shows that he can go through a couple of tough interviews and gets roughed up and shows people he can withstand it.
COOPER: Well, also, Paul, I mean, you know, the question, of course, can he also stand toe to toe on a debate stage with President Trump.
COOPER: But even before that, can he stand on a debate stage with the other Democratic candidates, and how does he fare in that? To Alex's point, you can say you're going to run all the positive campaign commercials you want, but, you know, in the last debate, clearly the candidates have reached a point where they are starting to realize, all right, we actually have to now point out differences between us.
BEGALA: I suspect what we saw in that clip with Kate Bolduan, I think the mayor is probably right when he predicted he couldn't get through the Democratic process. The truth is, if he stands on the stage with Donald Trump, I think he
matches up very well. He is actually a businessman. He is actually a billionaire.
He is actually a philanthropist. He is all the things that Trump pretends to be but is not. I think that works very well.
He has to get through a Democratic primary, though. Amanda is right. He does have a great reservoir of goodwill for having funded climate and particularly on gun safety. I was in Virginia -- I live there. I was there Tuesday night for the big election.
The folks from Moms Demand, from Everytown, these groups that have been working and many funded by Bloomberg, they might really love him, but that's not going to be enough. We'll see. I'm all for more people running, particularly if they are billionaire and hire a lot of consultants like I used to be. But I just have a hard time seeing him being able to pull together.
I will say Joe Biden started the race, the day he announced at 28. You know where he is today? Twenty-eight. We keep waiting for him to collapse. Everybody presumes, including me, and I keep thinking, gee, he is going to fade.
The resilience of Biden's coalition has been pretty impressive to me so far.
COOPER: Yes, Kirsten, I mean --
POWERS: Yes --
COOPER: Sorry, Kirsten, you know, there's also -- we're at a point in the race where these candidates have spent a lot of time in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in these early states.
Bloomberg obviously hasn't done that. I don't know if you can just go in and suddenly, you know, get voters.
POWERS: Yes, I mean, it's hard. It's hard at this stage. I mean, in the past, there have been people who have gotten in later and then Wes Clark was the big savior, you know, at one point. And, of course, he flamed out.
So, sometimes, there is this sense that we're going to look for some new savior, and they're going to come in and everybody gets excited, and then they kind of flame out. But I think to Paul's point is that we very often underestimate the level of affection there is among Democratic voters for Joe Biden. This is a long relationship that he has had with them. He has a lot of goodwill with them that Mike Bloomberg, whatever his -- whatever good things you can say about him, he just doesn't have.
That's not -- he just -- very few people have it, and very few people have been in politics as long as Joe Biden, and Joe Biden has I think this authenticity that people relate to, and he has this empathy that comes born of tragedy. So he has forged a real relationship that I think is hard -- you know, the idea that you're just going to come in and take those voters. I don't think it's that easy.
COOPER: Yes, relationships matter.
Paul Begala, thank you. Amanda Carpenter, Kirsten Powers, Alex Burns, great reporting. Thank you so much.
Up next, keeping them honest, the latest release of closed door testimony in the Ukraine controversy. What a key State Department official said, and how he could spell trouble for the White House and Rudy Giuliani when public hearings begin next week, because he is going to lead them off.
Also, breaking news you'll hear only on this program. A formal response to the White House from an attorney representing the original whistle-blower in the Ukraine matter. The physical danger he says his client is now in because of President Trump, when we continue.
COOPER: Hours ago, we received a preview of what the first day of public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry holds for the president, and a damning day it may be for him. The closed door especially the of a top diplomat named George Kent, and it confirms much of the testimony that we reported this week, namely, that according to Kent, the Ukrainians weren't going to get their security money unless they committed to an investigation of the Bidens, a quid pro quo, which is one way to call it.
Others call it a shakedown, an extortion attempt, bribery. Those are other names. Kent called it a, quote, campaign of lie, end quote.
Kent is the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. He also spelled out how his own State Department was left to twist in the wind as Rudy Giuliani pursued a campaign of, in George Kent's words -- mud, slander and hooey.
Giuliani's name, by the way, mentioned at least 78 times during the closed door hearing. Kent also said this during testimony, quote, POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to the microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton. Clinton he says was shorthand for the 2016 election, and Kent, as we mentioned earlier says he does believe there may have been a quid pro quo on the basis of Ukraine obtaining a, quote, meeting with the White House.
In other words, announce investigations and you get your face-to-face with President Trump. He said he had concerns about, quote, an effort to initiate politically motivated prosecutions that were injurious to the rule of law. He also said the Ukrainians, quote, understood Mr. Giuliani asserted he represented Mr. Trump in his private capacity, a fact that Giuliani confirmed in a tweet last night. Quote: The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian
collusion and corruption was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges that kept changing as one after another were disproven.
That tweet, though, it didn't really clear this up. In fact, kind of the opposite. People quickly point out how it contradicts what his client, the president had been saying.
Legal scholar Laurence Tribe tweeted, quote: This is nothing less than a confession that President Trump was shaking down Ukraine President Zelensky not for the nation's benefit, but for the political benefit of Donald J. Trump as Rudy's private client. We'll talk with Professor Tribe about that when he joins me a bit later on.
Back to George Kent, he is going to answer questions again in the first day of public testimony next week.
Here to discuss, CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, CNN political analyst and author and famed Watergate reporter, Carl Bernstein, plus chief CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor and author, Jeffrey Toobin.
Once again, Jeff, I mean, Rudy Giuliani at the center of this, and in one tweet, essentially exposes his client.
JEFF TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, and the question has always been, you know, what was he doing and who was he doing it for? Now his view is in the tweet that -- well, it was all just work as a defense attorney. So if that's the case, why is he making American foreign policy over there? Why is he deciding whether, you know, this aid goes through or not, whether the president of the United States meets with the president of Ukraine?
Every witness that has come forward so far has said that those were the real objectives of American foreign policy.
COOPER: And the president multiple times said oh, go talk to Rudy, you know, for the details on this. He even said that to Zelensky, talk to Rudy.
TOOBIN: Talk to Rudy. And, Rudy, according to Rudy, was just a defense lawyer, not an American government official.
COOPER: Carl, I mean, the president, quote, wanted nothing less than Zelensky to go to microphone and basically say investigations Biden and Clinton. That's what George Kent testified to. I mean, that's pretty clear.
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's not only clear, what this is about is a conspiracy driven by the president of the United States with his lawyer to undermine the American electoral system through the intervention of a foreign power in our elections. It is the definition of a high crime. This is -- it's exactly the same thing that Nixon was impeached for and was one of the articles of impeachment -- trying to undermine the electoral process through sabotage and political espionage.
We've got it all over again, except in this instance, it may be a lot worse because of the interest of a foreign power.
COOPER: Nia, the thing is Kent wasn't directly in discussions with the president about this, which is what Republicans will point to, especially next week when he is testifying on camera. He also didn't know whether the investigation was tied to military aid.
So, is that in and of itself a win for the White House?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think so in many ways. As you said, Republicans have been hammering this point not only with this witness who will come forward next week, but also with Bill Taylor, right? The idea that this is all third and fourth- hand information in some ways and that they never talked to the president, and you heard the president and other of his advisers essentially say they don't even really know who these people are.
But, again, I think the time we talked about Giuliani, right? He is the tie to all of this, right. People are obviously engaging with Giuliani at various times and the president obviously telling people that Giuliani is the point person. So this idea that they can sort of insulate Giuliani from the president, that Giuliani isn't directly representing what the president wants in this -- some call it scheme, quid pro quo, in terms of the holdup of the money and the deliverable from Zelensky and the Ukraine.
I mean, it's very hard to separate the president from this given what Giuliani has said and given that the president over and over again says, talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy, he is the point guy on this.
TOOBIN: You know, there is this very interesting parallel between what went on with the money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal before the end of the campaign. Michael Cohen was the executer of that -- the delivery of that money, and the president or then the candidate was insulated. And at least for a time could say, well, Michael Cohen was doing just what he is doing.
Here, it's Giuliani as the cut-out. The stakes are of course a great deal higher because we're talking about American foreign policy.
COOPER: This is a model that he has used before.
TOOBIN: That's right.
BERNSTEIN: And we have the conversation itself in which the president of the United States makes the connection and makes it clear that he is driving the conspiracy.
COOPER: Jeff, just on a legal front -- I mean, John Bolton didn't show up for testimony today. Democrats are saying they're not going to subpoena him because they don't want a court battle to slow down their inquiry.
Does that make sense? Because I mean, Bolton seems essential -- we don't know what he would say, but if there was a time when the president talked to Bolton about this, that would be directly from the president.
TOOBIN: It's a trade-off. I mean, I certainly think Bolton is the key, key witness here and could blow the case wide open, even to the point of getting perhaps Republicans to turn on the president.
But the calendar is what Nancy Pelosi wants. I mean, she has committed to get this -- not just through the Intelligence Committee, not just through the Judiciary Committee, but through the House of Representatives, impeachment done by the end of the year. Even if that slips to January, let's say, there is absolutely no way a district court, plus the Circuit Court of Appeals, to say nothing of the Supreme Court could get a resolution with Bolton done by that point. So, they're just going to give up on him.
COOPER: We're going take a quick break. More ahead. Nia-Malika Henderson, Carl Bernstein, Jeff Toobin stay with us.
More breaking news ahead. A AC360 exclusive. We've obtained a blistering letter sent by the lawyer for the Ukraine whistle-blower to the White House. We'll tell you what it said and the implications, next.
COOPER: A "360" exclusive now. There is no question that the whistle-blower on Ukraine has enraged President Trump. He has unleashed a Twitter storm of protest. Here are just some of his comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And you have to see who the whistle-blower is.
And you haven't heard about the whistle-blower after that, have you? Because the whistle-blower said lots of things that weren't so good, folks. You're going to find out.
I think that the whistle-blower gave a lot of false information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tonight, a stark formal response to the White House from the whistle-blower's attorney that you'll only see here in the letter obtained exclusively by 360.
The whistle-blower's attorney tells the White House counsel in part that, quote: The president of the United States is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, intelligence community whistle-blower and their family in physical danger. I'm writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his or his surrogate's behavior.
The whistle-blower's attorney adds, quote, his calls to the public to identify my client by name and his suggestion that he would support acts of violence against my client are candidly some of the most dangerous and reckless things a president of the United States can say.
He continues: Let me be clear. Should any harm befall any named whistle-blower or his family, the blame will rest squarely with your client. I submit that it is in your client's best interests to cease- and-desist in calling for the public disclosure of my client's identity and to cease in rhetoric that may endanger their lived and the lives of their family.
Should anyone be physically harmed, my co-counsel Mark Zaid and I will not he's to take any action and all appropriate action against your client. Those who are complicit in this vindictive campaign against my client, whether through action or inaction shall also be responsible, be that legally or morally.
Back with our political and legal team.
What do you make of the letter?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It's chilling, you know. It's -- the level of intensity of anger against the whistleblower starting with the President is just a scary business. And we have seen what it's like in the political atmosphere in which we live, there is violence. There are people who take the President and, you know, go even further. And I think it's a risk to this person.
I mean the irony, of course, is A, everything the whistleblower has said has checked out to be true. And B, he never claimed to have firsthand information. He merely suggested that the inspector general go talk to these other people, which they did. So, there's really no need for him to come forward.
COOPER: Right. Well, Nia, I mean at this point it seems to me that the whistleblower for the President is clearly kind of like a red herring here. I mean, it's clearly he is directing people toward the whistleblower with the idea that this is some sort of a Democratic plot and this is a deep state actor or whatever it may be, when in fact at this point the whistleblower doesn't even matter who it is or anything about the whistleblower because the information is out there and it has a life of its own. It's either true or not true.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. And the information is out there because, you know, nearly a dozen or over a dozen folks, State Department officials, as well as folks who worked in the White House, people who worked with Vice President Pence, for instance, have come forward to largely corroborate what was in this whistleblower's account.
They want to direct anger towards this whistleblower. And you see, listen, Republicans in some way are particularly sort of in the conservative press rattling behind this efforts, and then people like Senator Rand Paul also, you know, calling on the press, which isn't going to happen, to name the whistleblower. And so -- and Jim Jordan, for instance, saying that they want to subpoena the whistleblower.
So I do think this is a distraction by the President. I think he likes a target, and it's easier I think for him to have a single target rather than a 15 or so targets, all of the people who have come forward with impeccable credentials. And he, I think, is trying to set up this boogieman in the whistleblower and the folks who are supporting him in some ways are trying to do the same thing.
Donald Trump Jr. I think also sort of tweeted something trying to out the whistleblower. And listen, I think this letter was really important. It's sobering. The stakes are high for this person, and it's a dangerous time for this President to try to out whoever this person is.
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Trump is always trying to make the conduct of other people the issue instead of the conduct of himself. It's the press. It's Hillary. Now, it's the whistleblower. The whistleblower has performed a great service, because what we have seen is his information confirmed that indeed the President of the United States has engaged in all likelihood in bribery.
The constitution only mentions two specific high crimes, bribery and treason. This is a case of bribery. The whistleblower called the nation's attention to the President's extortionate demands and bribery, and there is a real chance that the evidence has the President boxed in, that's why he is flailing, once again, contemptuous of everything and everybody around him, except he is unwilling to look at his own conduct.
COOPER: That's right. I mean, it is illegal to unmask -- I mean, the calls to --
TOOBIN: Well, it's actually illegal for the inspector general, the person who received the whistleblower complaint, to disclose. It's not technically illegal for the President. He shouldn't find out who it is in the first place, but the only actual legal prohibition is on the recipient.
COOPER: But for the employer to go after a whistleblower --
TOOBIN: To retaliate, it is.
BERNSTEIN: And he's talking about retaliation.
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, he's just -- he's talking about it by implication. I mean, there's -- you know, it's a very sinister environment. He hasn't specifically said -- called for violence, but the implication is clearly there.
COOPER: All right, Jeff Toobin, Carl Bernstein, Nia-Malika Henderson, thanks very much.
Still more ahead, does a single tweet from Rudy Giuliani put him squarely in the middle of the impeachment inquiry? Coming up, we'll talk with Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Tribe.
[20:37:55] COOPER: More now on that one tweet by President Trump's personal attorney that may become one of the focal points of the impeachment inquiry. The tweet where Rudy Giuliani says he acted in the Ukraine affair as the President's attorney to defend him against "false charges."
Harvard University's Professor Lawrence Tribe is joining me now for the latest on his opinion of what Giuliani's tweet spells trouble -- how it spells trouble for the President.
Tribe tweeted out saying, "This is nothing less than a confession that President Trump was shaking down Ukraine President Zelensky not for the nation's benefit, but for the political benefit of Donald J. Trump as Rudy's private client."
Professor Tribe is the author of "To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment." He joins me tonight.
Professor Tribe, you said that Giuliani's tweet is nothing less than a confession that President Trump was, in your words, shaking down the Ukrainian president, not for the benefit of the U.S., but for the President's own personal benefit. Can you explain what you mean by that?
LAWRENCE TRIBE, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Basically, Rudy Giuliani has said proudly that he is representing not the United States of America but Donald J. Trump, his private client. Well, Rudy Giuliani, who appears something like 430 times in these transcripts, was representing this private client in dealings with a foreign sovereign trying to shake them down in a way that would benefit his private client's political interests. That is an abuse of power of the first order. It's exactly the reason that Alexander Hamilton and James Madison designed an impeachment power.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, it's incredible that, you know, he suddenly is sort of not appeared on television, which is probably a wise, you know, listening to counsel. But that with one tweet he would, you know, very proudly tweet that out and yet it does tremendous damage. I mean, I guess he was being honest, but it nevertheless does damage to him and to his client, the President.
[20:40:02] TRIBE: That's right. It's one of these typical Washington gaffes where you accidentally tell the truth, and it's a truth that really hurts this President. I don't want to seem gleeful about it. The fact is that the United States of America is in real danger. We've got a President who is willing to compromise our national security by hurting a country that is a buffer zone between an expanding Russia and the NATO alliance by undermining the Ukraine, claiming it's a phony country, and basically hollowing out the State Department to achieve that purpose.
COOPER: CNN is reporting that the impeachment investigation in the House could be wrapped up by Christmas. Clearly, that does not allow for court battles to try to get, you know, Giuliani or other people who are refusing subpoenas to testify. Is that a realistic timeline? And do you think that just from a legal standpoint, does that hurt the case if you don't have the testimony of a Giuliani, of a Rick Perry, who seemed to have been involved in this deeply as well?
TRIBE: Well, you know, honestly, I think Giuliani and Perry are not terribly worth listening to, and I think that Adam Schiff has made a very sound decision in not letting courts just drag things out.
When Judge Richard Leon, who is a little bit of a loose cannon, said that it would take him at least until December 10th before he could even hear the bizarre argument by Charles Kupperman, who is John Bolton's deputy, that he needs advice about whether to comply with the lawful subpoena or instead to simply clam up because the white House told him to, when you've got that kind of protracted litigation and prospect, there's just no reason to tolerate it.
And that's why I think yanking that subpoena and saying it's going to be enough to see what Judge Jackson rules about the former White House counsel makes a lot of sense. I think the House of Representatives is done allowing this President simply to stall and drag everything out.
There's more than enough evidence now to conclude that this President has committed what the framers would have regarded as grave high crimes and misdemeanors, including one that is named in the constitution, namely, bribery.
The President was soliciting a bribe from President Zelensky when he said if you go on CNN with Fareed Zakaria and tell everybody you're investigating Hunter Biden, then I will regard it as appropriate for me to release these defense funds. I mean, that's a bribe. It's extortion. It's clearly an abuse of power. It's a betrayal of trust. It's a high crime and misdemeanor, and it's about time that we brought this all to an end.
COOPER: Just lastly, the President tweeted this morning, "It was just explained to me that for next week's fake hearing, trial in the House, as they interview never Trumpers and others, I get no lawyer and no due process."
Obviously, the whole never Trumper thing, that's just made up. There's no evidence of the political positions of the people who are testifying, and there is no indication that -- and as we know, the President believes never Trumpers are -- he equates them with, in his words, human scum. I'm wondering what your reaction is to that tweet.
TRIBE: Well, it's hard to know where to start. It's obvious that the President is abysmally ignorant. It's not a trial in the House, it's really a decision about whether to have a trial in the Senate.
Frankly, if he wants to have the House conduct a trial and render a verdict of guilt without going to the Senate, I think a lot of people would welcome that because the House of Representatives would have no trouble finding him guilty. It's in the Senate where he's got a lot of people in his hip pocket.
COOPER: Professor Lawrence Tribe, I appreciate you being on. Thank you.
TRIBE: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Still ahead tonight, the President once said, I won't settle this case, but settle it he did over claims he used his own foundation as a piggy bank to help his personal business and political interests. The judge's ruling lands on "The Ridiculist" when we continue.
[20:48:24] COOPER: Busy night, as always. Let's check in with Chris to see what he is working on. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: This is a big deal tonight with Bloomberg. We don't know that he's getting in, but we know he's making preparations after he had all this money and time and expertise spent to come to the conclusion that he couldn't win what changed.
CUOMO: I will argue tonight that this is the reverberation of what you and I have been hearing from Democrats all across the country. They're not sure they have a dragon slayer in their field. They saw those state-by-state polls that prove an obvious point. Don't look at the national polls, look state by state where you have to win, and this President is formidable.
COOPER: We'll be watching it, Chris, 12 minutes from now. See you then.
Coming up, another big day in President Trump's philanthropy world. A judge weighs in on the Trump Foundation, which is already defunct. "The Ridiculist" is next.
[20:53:22] COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." And if you like your shady charities like you like your bogus universities, you're going to love the latest milestone of the now defunct Trump Foundation.
Here's the headline from none other than Fox News, Trump ordered to pay $2 million in Trump Foundation settlement, admits misuse of funds. I think someone at Fox is going to get fired for that headline because it's actually accurate.
A New York superior court judge has ordered the President to pay $2 million to various charities as part of a settlement in a civil lawsuit by the New York State Attorney General's Office.
President Trump admits to using his alleged charitable foundation to funnel money to his 2016 presidential campaign, which is not only illegal but really sleazy. The lawsuit was against President Trump as well as Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr. And the judge found that President Trump "breached his fiduciary duty to the foundation by using it to aid his political and business interests."
What does fiduciary mean, some of you might ask? And by some of you, I mean, Don Jr. Well, the first entry in Merriam-Webster's dictionary is, "held or founded in trust or confidence." All right, so the President of the United States can't be trusted, can't have confidence in him. Boohoo. Grow up, America. It's like Mulvaney says, get over it.
Trust and confidence, it's so boring. It's like being presidential. Who would show up for the rallies if he was that? We want bread, circuses, mistrust and confident schemes, insults, tough talk, like when Trump says he never settles lawsuits, remember that? Oh, we have a montage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a case I could have settled very easily, but I don't settled cases very easily when I'm right.
I will win the case in the end. I just didn't want to be forced to settle and I could have settled it before I did this.
[20:55:01] I could settle that case. I could have settled it. I just choose not to.
Again, I don't settle cases. I don't do it because that's why I don't get sued very often.
It would have been much easier if I settled. It would have probably been cheaper, but I don't care. It would have been much easier, it would have been cheaper.
In fact, when I ran they said, why don't you settle up that case? I don't want to settle up the case.
Probably I should have settled it, but I just can't do that. Mentally I can't do it. I'd rather spend a lot more money and fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Even tweeted about this lawsuit last year saying I won't settle the case and he put an exclamation mark on it. When you know -- that's when you know he really means it.
If you had trust and confidence, however, in that statement consider yourself defrauded as well because he settled this case just like he did with the shenanigans over Trump University, just like he does quite frequently and does get sued quite frequently. By the way, as part of the settlement, the Trump kids, (INAUDIBLE) and Ivanka, who were officers of the foundation, they have to undergo training so that they won't do the sleazy stuff again with some other foundation they might set up.
Are there training classes for how to run a foundation without misusing funds or is that like a tutor who has to come to your office? I mean, that's got to hurt. Look, I mean, I sympathize. I took a driver's ed training class when I was a kid, and it was long and it was boring.
But, you know -- I mean, these are three people who are allegedly running businesses. Shouldn't they know this kind of stuff already? And the President has agreed that should he ever form another charity in New York he has to file reports with the attorney general's office for five years and, "maintain a working familiarity with the applicable New York rules and laws." That's a good idea, maintain a working familiarity. Not a really deep familiarity, just a working one.
For the full story of the Trump Foundation scams, I recommend you read coverage of the past few years from "The Washington Post" David Fahrenthold who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this reporting, which kicked into gear after then candidate Trump made this claim in a 2016 so-called fundraiser for veterans charities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Donald Trump, another great builder in New York, now a politician, I can't stand this. A politician, I don't want to be called a politician. All talk, no action. I refuse to be called a politician. Donald Trump gave $1 million, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: By the way, when does one reach a level of fame and/or ego or vanity that it seems reasonable to refer to yourself constantly in the third person? Anderson Cooper wants to know.
Anyway, there was never actually any proof that Trump made the donation or that any of the other money he claimed he raised made it to the charity until "The Washington Post" started asking questions.
And, oh, yes, the money was for some reason being routed through Mr. Trump's foundation, which according to the court was basically being run at that point by his campaign.
Now, aside from helping his presidential bid, the Trump Foundation's priorities have also included paying legal fees for the President's for profit businesses, spending thousands of dollars on sports memorabilia as well as making undisclosed $25,000 political donations to then Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi who's now one of the President's impeachment advisers, oddly enough.
And because there's no such thing as too shady or too vein in Trump world, the foundation bought at least two giant portraits of Mr. Trump. That is a gorgeous portrait, including this one which cost his so-called charity $10,000 and hung at his Doral golf course, the same place that he wanted to strand world leaders during next June's G7 summit.
You can sort of see why the judge hit the President with the $2 million fine. Of course, the President just tweeted about the settlement saying he is, "happy to donate $2 million to charity." Is it a donation if it's court ordered? I don't think so. I'll have to look that up.
But you know what, let's just wait a few months. We'll ask CJ and DJ or Eric or Ivanka after they've completed their court ordered training sessions. Trump Foundation may now be closed, but its legacy lives on in perpetuity on "The Ridiculist." Best people.
Quick reminder, don't miss "Full Circle. It's our digital daily news show that gives us a chance to dig into some important topics, have really in-depth conversations. Today, we focused on the newly identified strain of HIV which sounds scary when you hear the headline.
The good news is it's not as scary as the headline makes it. That's because it's only been found in three samples, so it's incredibly rare. It's only been found in Central Africa and current HIV tests can detect it and available medication is effective against it. But it is a reminder to be tested for HIV regularly.
I spoke on "Full Circle" with Mary Rodgers who helped make this latest discovery. She's a scientist, the principal scientist, in fact, of infectious disease research at Abbott.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY RODGERS, PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST IN ABBOTT: All of these strains are really a plane ride away in our connected world that we live in. And so, we can't really think of them in isolation. We have to think of ourselves as potentially being exposed to any different strain of HIV and that's why we're looking everywhere. We're not just looking in Africa, we're not just looking in Asia, we're not just looking in other continents, we're looking everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It was a really interesting conversation. You can watch the whole thing at cnn.com/fullcircle, which is where you can also watch "Full Circle" live weekdays at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
The news continues. Let's hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?
CUOMO: All right, thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "Prime Time."