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President Donald Trump Discrediting Witnesses For Impeachment Inquiry; How Will Trump Be Received At Alabama/LSU Football Game?; Anonymous Author Paints Damning Portrait Of Trump's White House; Bloomberg Files To Run In 2020 Democratic Primary; Sondland Finds Memory Cure Amid Impeachment Inquiry. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 9, 2019 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[15:00:53]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And we are just days away from the start of public impeachment hearings. And with evidence mounting, the President is doing everything he can to discredit the witnesses going before Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There shouldn't be anything. There shouldn't be impeachment hearings is what I said so maybe they misconstrued it. What I say is read the transcript. It's all about the transcript. They are having people, I have never even heard of some of these people. I don't know who they are. And by the way, it's all third-hand knowledge.

But regardless of what anyone says, read the transcript. Now, they want to have a transcript of the other call, the second call and I'm willing to provide that. We will probably give it to you on Tuesday. Monday being a holiday. We will probably give it to you on Tuesday, but we have another transcript coming out, which is very important. They asked for it. And I gladly give it. There has never been a President who has been so transparent. This is a witch hunt at the highest level and it's so bad for our country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So now, President Trump plans to release another transcript of a different call he had with the Ukrainian President. But let's not forget the first transcript, the one where he literally asked Ukraine to do him a favor by investigating the Bidens.

In the meantime, "the Washington Post" is reporting House Republicans are looking for fall guys to shift the blame to when being acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney where we learned last night was mentioned a lot when two White House testified to Congress. They said Mulvaney was central in pushing Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

So would the President's right hand man be acting on his own or at the direction of someone? You heard what Mulvaney said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: We do that all the time with foreign policy. I have news for everybody. Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: He later took that back but these new depositions indicate his initial statement was the truth. More on that in just a moment.

There's another development we are following and this involves the President's former national security adviser John Bolton. When it looked like House investigators might proceed without getting him to testify, Bolton's lawyer essentially said, wait, hold on keep fighting this court case to get him to talk because he has relevant information he wants to tell you. So does that mean Bolton has a bomb shell? Stay tuned for that.

And new today, Republicans now have a list of witnesses they want to hear from, and it includes the former vice President's son, Hunter Biden, even though there is no evidence of wrong doing by him or his father, and they want to hear from the whistleblower who triggered this whole investigation and who the President has repeatedly attacked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The whistleblower is a disgrace to our country. A disgrace. And the whistleblower, because of that, should be revealed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond is joining us today here.

Now the President saying very important to hear this other call, the one from April, not the infamous call now from -- that sparked this investigation from July.

JEREMEY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. This would be the first call that President Trump actually had with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. And again, there is no again havoc around this call. There are no allegations of impropriety surrounding it.

There were not concerns that were raised by national security council officials around this call. However there was a discussion of corruption which is something that the White House had mentioned in their brief readout. So we will have to wait and see to what extent the President actually discussed that.

But clearly what the President is trying to do here is as we are seeing that this story line is mounting around him, beyond just the July call with Ukraine, the President is diverting attention here away from the mounting evidence of the shadow foreign policy, a much broader story line than just one phone call that did not go as it should have.

[15:05:00]

CABRERA: We just mentioned that the GOP came out with a list of witnesses they want to hear from publicly in those public hearings that began this next week. A couple of them we mentioned, Hunter Biden, we heard also the whistleblower was on that list. But Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee is responding. What is he saying.

DIAMOND: That's right. Look, it's important to keep in mind first of all that the list the Republicans are putting forward here is not a list that they can just get these people to come forward for public testimony.

Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Democratic majority, has to actually approve this. And so Schiff's statement is very important. And here's what he said in his response. He said this inquiry is not and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit or to facilitate the President's effort to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm.

And that of course is because House Republicans are seeking hunter Biden to come forward. They want the whistleblower who Democrats are trying to protect this intelligence official's identity. Neither of those two are going to come forward. The question is will Democrats allow some of these witnesses to come forward.

A couple of names on the list are people who have already come forward for private depositions, but who Republican feels bolster the President's narrative more so than the current administration officials who House Democrats have invited to come forward and testify publicly.

CABRERA: OK. We are going to ask a Democrat right now, in fact, what he thinks of this list coming up.

Thank you very much, Jeremy Diamond.

I want to bring in Democratic congressman Gerry Connolly. He serves on the Oversight Committee which is one of the three committees have been overseeing the hearings.

Congressman, good to have you with us. First, let's start with the news today the President is now planning to release a new transcript of another call he had with the Ukrainian President. He says he will do this on Tuesday. Of course that's the day before the public hearings begin. What's your reaction?

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): Well, I think this is the call you and Jeremy were just talking about which might have been more of a courtesy call right after the election of President Zelensky in Ukraine. We will see. Maybe it will shed some additional light. But we are pretty focused on the call of July 25th, which I think is very incriminating of the President.

And by the way, we keep on talking about quid pro quo. It's about extortion. I will give you something you want desperately only if you agree to give me something in return, in this case, political dirt on a prospective political opponent.

CABRERA: So the extortion could be the high crime and misdemeanor, the impeachable offense here.

CONNOLLY: Well, I believe abuse of office alone is an impeachable offense. It doesn't have to be a crime. But in this case, we have a crime, it's extortion.

CABRERA: OK. A few hours ago house Republicans released their list of witness requests. This is who they want to hear from. The whistleblower, Hunter Biden, Kurt Volker who is the former special envoy to Ukraine, David Hale, a top state department official, Tim Morrison, a former Trump aide, Nelly Ore, the wife of justice department official Bruce Ore and Alexandria Chalupa, a former DNC contractor. Would you agree from anyone on that list?

CONNOLLY: We have already heard, of course, from three of four or those witnesses, prospective witnesses in the deposition process. Personally speaking for myself, I wouldn't have any problem with them.

What we are not going to do as Adam Schiff said is allow them to sort of revisit these crazy already debunked conspiracy theories about the Bidens and Ukraine or to try to out the whistleblower. We are not going to be party to that. We are not going to give them a platform to do that.

CABRERA: But you see there is some negotiation to be had over this list, perhaps some.

CONNOLLY: Well, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison, they were witnesses in the deposition process and hearing from them in public would not trouble me at all.

CABRERA: OK. We learned yesterday from the two transcripts that were released that White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had a central role in dealings with Ukraine. How important is it for your committee to be able to question him and how far are Democrats willing to go in order to do that.

CONNOLLY: I think Mick Mulvaney does need to be heard from and should be heard from. There's lots of precedent for that. During Watergate, we heard from Bob Halderman, Richard Nixon's chief of staff. And I think we need to do that again with Mick Mulvaney.

Mick Mulvaney has put himself in the center of this controversy. And therefore, I think, needs to account for himself. He had, of course, that disastrous press conference in which he said, yes, a quid pro quo did occur, so what, get over it. Those are momentous words, very hard to walk back, and I think he needs to explain himself.

CABRERA: I know Democrats want to hear from him. That was what we had heard prior to the new testimony, but he is saying, no. I'm not going to. I have immunity. That was his argument. That's why he defied a subpoena yesterday when he was supposed to testify or his testimony had been requested. So I guess to the second part of that question, how far are Democrats willing to go in order to get him before the committees?

[15:10:25]

CONNOLLY: I don't know the answer to that. Let me just say, I think we have plenty in front of us with which to have public hearings and to proceed. The whistleblower complaint, which was highly detailed has essentially been corroborated in all respects during the deposition process.

And nobody has contradicted that the Republicans are now forced in their defense at intimidation of witnesses threatening to out the whistleblower, and actually physically storming the witness room to try to prevent the proceedings from going forward. That's a pretty weak defense.

CABRERA: One thing we have been hearing from Republicans as well as the White House is there's no direct link between President Trump and this quid pro quo. They argue officials were simply acting on what they presumed the President wanted. Can you prove President Trump knew what Mulvaney, or Rudy Giuliani were doing?

CONNOLLY: You know, that's gaslighting. The White House released the transcript of the phone conversation of July 25th. That is the President talking. By the way, witnessed by one of our witnesses, colonel Vindman, who was on the call and heard the same thing the transcript reflects.

And in that transcript, out of the President's own mouth, not somebody else's, he says, yes, we can start to consider that military aid you need that I have suspended but we need a favor, though. We need a favor first, though. That is a -- that's extortion.

And that came right out of the President's own mouth and everybody could read it and see it. The Republicans, I guess, are hoping that we will forget about that transcript. But that transcript was an incriminating document released by the White House itself.

CABRERA: There's also President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton. And his attorney says he has relevant information that hasn't been revealed yet. What do you think Bolton's strategy is here, dangling this but at the same time refusing to voluntarily testify. CONNOLLY: Well, it sound like Mr. Bolton wants Congress to subpoena

him for his testimony, presumably he does have something to share. We do know from other depositions that he was a source of resistance to the sham Ukraine policy being led by Giuliani and Sondland and of course being pressed by the President himself.

So I think his testimony would be a very desirable thing. Whether Congress decides to pursue it with a subpoena and delay the process is a question we are going to have to examine carefully because we are on a real-time bind here if we want to get this wrapped up before the end of the year.

CABRERA: And is that the goal? Is that the definitive goal to try to do this before the end of the year?

CONNOLLY: The speakers office indicated that they would like to have this done sometime around the holiday season, Christmas holiday season. I think that's a realistic goal, so long as there aren't inordinate delays and I think one of the considerations about trying to secure testimony from people unwilling witnesses without a subpoena like Mr. Bolt is the time factor.

CABRERA: Ok. Congressman Gerry Connolly, really appreciate all the information. Thank you for being here.

CONNOLLY: My pleasure.

CABRERA: Could all the President's men end up being his fall guys. The new strategy by House Republicans looking into protect the President include raising doubts about some of his fiercest defenders.

Plus, former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, quietly taking a step toward a presidential run and he would be going down a path that no other Democratic candidate is attempting.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[15:17:53] CABRERA: It's been an eventful past few days, and President Trump's impeachment inquiry, notable for who testified, who refused to testify and who will go under oath in very near future in public. For his part, the President says he is feeling pretty good about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm not concerned about anything. The testimony has all been fine. I mean, for the most part, I never even heard of these people. I have no idea who they are. They shouldn't be having public hearings. This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt. This is just a continuation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: But a few things have happened that show how the Trump administration might be preparing to defend the President and deflect accusations that he did anything wrong. First, the closed door testimony of George Kent. He is a current state department official in charge of Ukraine policy who was deposed three weeks ago. And his testimony transcripts came out this week. And he says he believes there was a quid pro quo, but that Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani played such a big part in manipulating Ukraine policy and was attacking everyone from the ambassador down that Kent says he kept his concerns to himself.

More transcripts, testimony from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland who also said under oath that Rudy Giuliani was the President's point man on Ukraine. Sondland now says the President did hold up aid to that country in exchange for help investigating the Bidens. President Trump once called Sondland a great American and highly respected. But yesterday he said he hardly knows the gentleman.

Then there's the President's own acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. He was supposed to testify yesterday. In fact, he was subpoenaed, as we have discussed, but Mulvaney did not show up. He told investigators he has immunity, even though witnesses put him at the center of orchestrating the quid pro quo with Sondland.

Let's bring in Former Federal Prosecutor Gene Rossi.

Gene, I just listed a few of the people who are now emerging a very key figures of this impeachment inquiry. "The Washington Post" has reporting that Giuliani, Sondland and Mulvaney may end up being fall guys for the GOP, to shift blame away from the President. How successful would they be in making this argument, but all those people were perhaps going rogue without the President's knowledge.

[15:20:05]

GENE ROSSI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Their chances of being successful with that argument are probably as low as the red skins winning the super bowl. And I got to say this, watching the President deny that he knows Sondland and in watching the President say that the testimony that he is hearing from these depositions, it reminds me of a Baghdad bomb when we were innovating our rock, it's totally delusional.

And here is we have, Ana,. You had congressman Gerry Donnelly. He is a great congressman. I'm from Northern Virginia. He mentioned extortion, I agree with him. But what you also have here, Ana, is textbook bribery, 18 USC 201. It fits all the elements of a bribery scheme. You have a quid pro quo and a corrupt motive. And it's arms for dirt. And I want to draw an analogy to something before we get to the next question.

Imagine it's the spring of 1944 and President Franklin Roosevelt calls Winston Churchill and says Winston, we are not going to send you aid for the D-day invasion unless you dig up dirt on my opponent Tom Duey in the Republican party. If that ever happened, FDR would have been impeached and then the next day indicted. It's an egregious use of power. CABRERA: Some of the President's defenders have hinted that am

ambassador Gordon Sondland is working with Democrats on the impeachment committees, that he's somehow in cahoots with them. Listen to senator Lindsey Graham.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Why did Sondland change his testimony? Was there connection between Sondland and Democratic operatives on the committee? Did he talk to Schiff? Did the talk to Schiff staffers?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Facts first, Sondland was appointed to his role by President Trump directly. He also donated a million dollars to Trump's inaugural committee. How successful have Republicans been in discrediting the key witnesses?

ROSSI: Well, here's the thing. If you were to put up a chart, Ana, on one side of the chart, you would have the President and Mulvaney, they're the only ones who are sticking to there's no quid pro quo, even old Mick Mulvaney backtracked from saying it was, and on the other side of the chart, you have all these people who under oath have said there was a quid pro quo for corrupt reasons.

Let's go to Sondland. I have seen this many times from witnesses.; What happens is they make a statement, either not under other or under oath and then what happens is they realize they better clarify what they said because if they don't they could be subjected to forgery. This is exactly what happened to Sondland. He realizes he can't backtrack and say there's no quid pro quo because that famous email, I think it's from Bill Taylor, where they are talking about --.

CABRERA: The text message.

ROSSI: Yes, Ana, that is exhibit number one, if I were the prosecutor, giving the opening and closing arguments against the steamers, the President and all of his conspirators.

CABRERA: Let me ask you about Mick Mulvaney, though, because the President's acting chief of staff is also highly involved in all of this according to the testimonies we saw yesterday from the transcripts. He was subpoenaed to testify himself yesterday but he didn't show up telling impeachment investigators at exactly one minute before his scheduled testimony actually that he is claiming absolute immunity in these proceedings. And I want you to listen to what President Trump says about Mulvaney possibly taking the stand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't want to give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt. I would love to have Mick go up, frankly. I think he would do great. I would love to have him go up. I would love to have almost every person go up when they know me. What I don't like is when they put all these people that I never met before. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So does Mick Mulvaney really have absolute immunity as he claims, especially now that other witnesses have said Mulvaney was the one directing Trump foreign policy on Ukraine?

ROSSI: I want to say this, the concept of absolute immunity only exists in the minds of two people, the President of the United States and Bill Barr, who is really disappointing. There is no such thing as absolute immunity. Most normal witnesses who are trying to comply with the law, if they have a problem with the subpoena, they don't just ignore it. They either comply or they claim some kind of privilege but there is no privilege that protects a crime fraud scheme. And we have a scheme to defraud the United States, arms for dirt, so there is no privilege.

You have to comply with the subpoena or here's what's going to happen, the house committees and the House itself, they are going to use the failure to comply with the subpoenas as an article of impeachment. They did that in part with Bill Clinton. And they obviously did it with Richard Nixon. So they are actually giving, putting fuel in the fire of the House impeachment process.

[15:28:28]

CABRERA: Gene Rossi, always good to get your take. I appreciate your insight and expertise. Good to have you here. Thanks.

ROSSI: Thank you.

CABRERA: It is game day for President Trump. Again, this time he is at the Alabama LSU kick off where students were warned against disruptive behavior. We will go live there next.

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[15:285:41]

CABRERA: Call it a trifecta of teas at the Bryant football stadium, the Alabama crimson tide, the LSU Tigers and President Trump. How will he be received? I ask that because he was booed at the world series in D.C., so the smart money says that probably won't happen because Alabama is a reliable red state, but clearly not everyone in Tuscaloosa today is a fan.

Baby Trump is also a making a scene, a last minute Go Fund Me campaign raised almost double the funds needed to book the blimp for today's event.

CNN's Sarah Westwood is on the sidelines.

Sarah, what's the mood of the crowd there today?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Ana, you're right that this is a reliably red state. It's a reliably red crowd. We have been speaking with folks who have been tailgating all day ahead of this game. Most of them are very enthusiastic about President Trump.

Now, as you mentioned, the past two major sporting events that he attended, he did receive something of a poor reception. There were boos mixed in with cheers. That may not happen today.

Take a listen to some of the conversations that we've had.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a bunch of bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

Bottom line, I think they're fishing. It's a fishing expedition. It's been like that for three years now. So.

WESTWOOD: How much are you following what he's actually being impeached for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For something in the Ukraine where he told the president to take a look at Biden for his misdeeds while he was in office. If he was corrupt, he was corrupt. Put him in jail.

WESTWOOD: Did you vote for Trump in 2016?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. And I'll vote for him again, even if I have to go in there in a wheelchair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just crazy. There's no basis for it.

WESTWOOD: Do you think he's being treated fairly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't. No.

WESTWOOD: And what is your understanding of what the impeachment inquiry is about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Made-up stuff. We have the transcripts. Read the transcripts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: Now President Trump has arrived at the stadium. He's headed up to a box. He's expected to be announced during the game, but during a TV time-out, so we may soon see what kind of reception he's going to receive. Perhaps that could be the warm reception that he's been looking for.

This is his third major sporting event in two weeks -- Ana?

CABRERA: Sarah Westwood, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for us. Thank you.

We have new details about the explosive account in that new book written by an unnamed senior Trump administration official. The chilling picture it tells of life inside the White House, when we come back.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:36:29]

CABRERA: "Cruel, inept, a danger to the nation." The anonymous author of a forthcoming book is describing life inside the White House and the details are jaw dropping. "A Warning," as it's called, is believed to be written by a senior Trump administration official.

CNN's Brian Todd reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're kicking their ass.

BRIAN TODD, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "His top officials would wake up in a full-blown panic over his tweets."

Working for Donald Trump at the White House is, "like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard, and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him. Only your uncle doesn't have to lead the U.S. government once he puts his pants on."

These quotes, from the explosive new book, "A Warning," written by an anonymous Trump administration official, excerpted by the "Washington Post." Excerpts which some say will likely drive the president crazy.

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Donald Trump, as we know, is pretty loyalty obsessed and he is, in particular, concerned with this idea of treachery inside the White House.

This is a moment where Trump is going to be particularly worried that he's surrounded by people he fundamentally can't trust.

TODD: The author is the same unnamed person who wrote an op-ed in the "New York Times" last year claiming to be part of a so-called resistance to Trump within the White House ranks. It's not clear if the person is still working for the president or has left.

According to "The "Post," the new book says senior Trump administration officials considered resigning en masse last year in a, quote, "midnight self-massacre," to warn the public about President Trump's behavior.

MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: If it was petty senior people and it was a lot of them, it would have not only affected the actual operations of the government but it would have underscored and made very real one of the big concerns about this administration, which is that people are concerned about the president's very erratic nature. And I think it could have had a big impact.

TODD: The author says the officials decided against mass resignations fearing it would destabilize the government even further. The book depicts Trump as incompetent, a danger to the country,

paranoid of those around him, including note takers and profoundly cruel.

TRUMP: Be quiet. Quiet.

TODD: The author says Trump once spoke with a Hispanic accent in the Oval Office to make fun of migrants crossing the border.

And when discussing women, quote, "He comments on makeup. He makes jokes about weight. He critiques clothing. He uses words like 'sweetie and honey.'"

GLASSER: That's the kind of amazing thing about Donald Trump. He makes racist remarks in private and he makes racist remarks in public. He says anti-women things in private and he says anti-women things in public.

TODD: The White House is calling the author a coward, saying the book is "nothing but lies, a work of fiction."

One Trump biographer warns the pushback won't stop there.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: God help you if you occupy an important position in service to the president and evidence any lack of loyalty. He's going to come after you hard. And there's no threat that he won't make.

TODD (on camera): Last year, when that same author published the anonymous op-ed, the White House went on a mole hunt, a furious effort to out that person, with Trump said to be obsessed with uncovering the person's identity.

Analysts say that's likely going on now as well. But according to "The Post," the author claims to be ready to reveal his or her own identity in due course.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:39:56]

CABRERA: After first saying no, billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, is again exploring a run for the presidency. The direct challenge this could mean for Joe Biden's campaign and why the polling may not be on Bloomberg's side.

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CABRERA: Better late than never. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now preparing to enter the 2020 presidential race. And he's taking anything but a conventional approach.

The billionaire businessman says he plans to skip, just skip the first four primary contests on the Democratic calendar. It's a strategy that has never been successfully executed in the past.

Back in March, Bloomberg announced he had no intention of running for the nomination. And then, just three months ago, I asked him about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: When is the last time you've thought about running for president?

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, (D), FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Long time ago.

CABRERA: Have you completely ruled it out for 2020?

BLOOMBERG: I think -- the only thing I'm considering, somebody suggested that I should think about 2024 and run then, so I'll consider that one.

CABRERA: Are you ready to endorse any of the 2020 candidates currently?

BLOOMBERG: I'm afraid I'm not. We'll see down the road. There's fifteen months to the election. I think it's a bit premature, don't you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:45:09]

CABRERA: There you had it. And now he's changing his tune.

(LAUGHTER)

CNN's senior political writer and analyst, Harry Enten, is here with us now.

My how things change over time.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER & ANALYST: My goodness gracious, I change my lunch order, he changes whether or not he wants to run for president. You know, same thing.

CABRERA: Exactly.

Let's talk about the chances, then. You say you look at the polls, you look at the data that's out there, there's no clear path.

ENTEN: I don't see a clear path. Look at Iowa, you're talking about he's going to skip the first four states.

Look at his favorability rating in Iowa. This was in March, and only 27 percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucus-goers said they had a favorable view, 30 percent had an unfavorable view. That's not very good.

And if you then blow it on and look nationally, the national horse race, a Monmouth University poll that measured this in March, where was he polling at? At 2 percent. At two percent, you know, you don't have to necessarily good at math to know that 2 percent isn't very high.

CABRERA: Democrats must be thinking or at least he must be thinking Democrats aren't necessarily satisfied with the choices that they have. I mean, that would be the obvious reason for somebody else to get into the race. But you say there's data that suggests otherwise.

ENTEN: There's data. This to me seems like a donor-class problem believing that the Democratic electorate isn't satisfied.

A FOX News poll at the end of last month, 69 percent say they are satisfied with their choices. Less than 30 percent say they wish there were other options.

These are not the type of numbers that I would necessarily look at to say, you know what, I want to get in this race because Democratic voters, they want that alternative.

These polls, in fact, this is one of the lower polls. When you combine that with the fact that his numbers are low, I don't necessarily quite understand where exactly he's going with it.

CABRERA: On the flip side, there was a poll out of Iowa that showed half of the voters there were undecided who they wanted to back for the primary. Might that be reason for him to have hope?

ENTEN: Maybe, but, again, go back to the fact that he isn't particularly well liked in Iowa.

It would be one thing if Michelle Obama was going to jump in the race. And she's very much beloved by Democratic primary voters.

But the idea that Michael Bloomberg, to be perfectly honest, wasn't a Democrat a little bit ago, is going to jump into the Democratic primary race and reach out to the different constituencies, I don't see.

Obviously, he can run. He has the right to run. But if you're looking straight at the numbers, I don't see a clear path for him.

CABRERA: At this stage in the race, how do you assess the electability of a more moderate Democrat versus a more progressive one?

ENTEN: I think this is an interesting question given that electability is so important in the primary.

Look at their past electoral performances, where a number of Democrats running in this race who ran in 2018 for the United States Senate.

One of them obviously, was Elizabeth Warren. And what we can do is compare how she did in that race versus the other people running for federal office, the Democrats running for the House of Representatives. And what do we see, we see, Elizabeth Warren ran well behind the other Democrats in her home state of Massachusetts. That's not necessary a good sign.

Amy Klobuchar, more moderate, she ran well ahead of the average Democrat running for federal office in her state. That is a good sign for her electability.

One other thing I'll note is we have national and state polls where we compare how Elizabeth Warren is doing versus how Joe Biden is doing. Both of them are pretty well known. And what do we see in the national and the state polls? We see that Biden has regularly run ahead of Elizabeth Warren, which is a notch in his belt on the electability scale.

CABRERA: And the other data is also the state polling, especially in the swing states when it comes to the head-to-head match ups with President Trump against these candidates running in 2020.

ENTEN: If we pull up the slide again, what we can see is that Joe Biden has been running ahead of where Elizabeth Warren has been running in those swing states.

In "New York Times" polls, he is leading by a point in the six closest swing states that Donald Trump won in 2016 that the Democrats will need to win probably at least half of those. He's winning by, on average, a point among likely voters.

Elizabeth Warren I down by three points, which is reflective of what we have seen in the national polls where Joe Biden is running three to five points, on average, ahead of Elizabeth Warren, against Trump.

CABRERA: A point ahead of Trump.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: That's got to give the Trump campaign some boost.

ENTEN: That is good news for the Trump campaign. It might be one of the reasons that Bloomberg wants to get in because he doesn't believe any of the Democrats can beat Trump. We'll have to wait and see.

CABRERA: It's going to get interesting.

ENTEN: I love it, I love it, elections.

(LAUGHTER)

CABRERA: Go get your food. I know you have been excited.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Exactly. Harry, enjoy.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you.

Don't forget, former Vice President Joe Biden will take questions from voters live from Iowa in a CNN Democratic presidential town hall. CNN's Erin Burnett moderates that. Tune in Monday night at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.

[15:49:40]

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Donkeys are an animal we don't often about or hear about. They played a critical role, however, in American history, helping build railroads and other infrastructure. Today, they seem to be misunderstood, often abandoned and abused. But they have a champion. At least one person, this year's top-10 "CNN Hero," Mark Meyers, is giving donkeys a second chance at life and finding them forever homes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MEYERS, CNN HERO: Donkeys speak to my soul.

That'll comes right loose, don't it?

Donkeys are like dogs. They're amazing animals that nobody gets. I understand what they're thinking. And there's so many donkeys in so many places that need so much help.

There's nothing cuter than a baby donkey.

We're saving them. We're improving their lives. I want to see every donkey find its happiness, its happy place, its peaceful place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Mark has saved more than 13,000 donkeys. To vote for him for "CNN Hero" of the year or any of your favorite top-10 "CNN Heroes," go to CNNheroes.com.

Finally, a big witness in the impeachment inquiry seems to have discovered a cure for memory loss.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If only we could all have what he's having, the Gordon Sondland memory cure.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: And he claims his memory was refreshed.

MOOS: Voices dripped with skepticism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he now remembers, amended. That's right, corrected.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: On Sondland's revision. [15:55:07]

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, "TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON": All of a sudden, now he remembers this? What's going on?

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: What do you think jogged his memory?

MOOS: Jail was the number-one answer.

"The idea of using a stainless-steel toilet every day does wonders to improve the memory."

KIMMEL: Maybe he started taking those omega-3 supplements.

(LAUGHTER)

They say those are very effective against perjury. So.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: In his updated declarations, Sondland use terms like "refreshed my recollection" and "I now do recall."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is quite a refresh of your memory.

MOOS: Equally refreshing were the snarky headlines. "Oh, that pro quo, yes, now I remember."

Someone demonstrated the exact moment his memory was refreshed.

There was a reference to a Tommy Lee Jones line from "The Fugitive."

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Care to revise your statement, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Do you want to change your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) story, sir?

MOOS: Ambassador Sondland denied changing anything.

GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: I didn't change my testimony but I can't answer any questions.

MOOS: He was chased by a couple of protesters down an escalator at Portland International Airport.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Gordon Sondland, tell the truth.

MOOS (on camera): Gordon Sondland had a Barbra Streisand moment when he refreshed all of those --

(SINGING)

MOOS (voice-over): -- of the way his testimony was. Jeanne Moos, CNN --

(SINGING)

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Well, the impeachment investigation is about to go public. With so much testimony already revealed, what else will we learn? The cameras are on and the whole country is watching.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.

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