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How Giuliani's Access To Foreign Leaders Complicates U.S. Policy; Giuliani To Start Podcast On Public Impeachment Hearings; Julian Castro Says Iowa & New Hampshire Not Diverse Enough To Vote First; Bloomberg Says He'll Skip Early States, Go Straight To Super Tuesday; Michigan Conservation Officer Goes "Beyond The Call Of Duty". Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 11, 2019 - 14:30   ET




DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Giuliani left public office as New York's mayor back in 2001. Since then, he's made millions in speaking fees, and security and safety consulting contracts all over the globe.

But being associated with Donald Trump has opened new doors at the top levels. He traveled to Uruguay where he met with the president. He got rare access to the king of Bahrain and the crown prince. And sat down with the defense secretary of Armenia. Usually introduced or referred to as President Trump's adviser.

And in almost every case, there is something else. The president's unpaid trusted adviser is seeking to cash in. Security contracts in Bahrain, hired in Uruguay, speaking fees in Armenia.

Former State Department official Andrew Miller says it's hard to tell who Giuliani works for and foreign governments are taking no chances.

ANDREW MILLER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It is dangerous when you have someone who's interests are not aligned with the U.S. government, and that makes it a possibility that there's going to be some type of compromising of U.S. national security interests.

GRIFFIN: The top example so far is Ukraine, where Giuliani was paid $500,000 by a shady businessman who wanted the U.S. ambassador ousted. Giuliani convinced President Trump to get rid of her and also pushed for a Ukrainian investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

But it's not the only example where Giuliani's business interests contradicted or directed U.S. foreign policy. In Romania, he was paid to write a letter in support of a corrupt businessman, in direct contrast to the U.S. policy of urging Romania to crack down on corruption.

SEBASTIAN BURDUJA, NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY OF ROMANIA: There was Mr. Giuliani basically siding with the crooks.

GRIFFIN: In Albania, he advocated for regime change in Iran. This is also not the official policy of the United States.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Hi, Mr. Giuliani, Drew Griffin with CNN.


GRIFFIN (voice over): Asked this week about cashing in on the Trump presidency, Giuliani became defensive.

GIULIANI: That is the -- that is a totally unfair question. Not unexpected from the corrupt news network. And the reality is that everything I've done is totally legal.

GRIFFIN: Senator Tom Udall is one of a half dozen Democrats in the Senate asking the Department of Justice if Giuliani's actions and failure to register under the Foreign Agents Act is breaking the law.

SEN. TOM UDALL (D-NM): With what we see out there and the multiple clients around the world, his meetings with the Trump administration, with the president, with various administration officials, there's no doubt that I think that there's a real issue here.

GRIFFIN: Giuliani insists he is only guilty of one thing, defending the president.

GIULIANI: I am in private law practice. I practice law honorably and well. Never had a complaint, never had an issue ever in 50 years of private law practice. And I am being targeted by CNN because I am proving that you are corrupt in your coverage of the president all throughout this impeachment proceeding.

GRIFFIN (on camera): It's not just Democrats who are concerned about what Rudy Giuliani is doing in Ukraine. Fiona Hill, President Trump's former top adviser for Russia, reportedly testified she had concerns about what Giuliani was doing, telling investigators, "I was extremely concerned that whatever it was, Mr. Giuliani was doing might not be legal."

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


BALDWIN: Drew, thank you for that.

Speaking of Giuliani, with public hearings two days away, we're learning more about how Rudy Giuliani is planning to get back in the action.

Senior White House Correspondent, Pamela Brown, and CNN Reporter, Michael Warren, are with me now.

Pamela, you're hearing that Rudy Giuliani may be starting a podcast about impeachment.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It looks like Giuliani is about to re-enter the impeachment fray after laying low for several weeks following the arrest of two of his associates.

Basically, we're told he's discussing having an impeachment podcast where he's going to provide analysis, provide his side of the story and basically provide what he views as a counterbalance to the public hearings that are kicking off this week.

Now, the way we came about this story, Brooke, was a couple people overheard Giuliani talking about these podcast plans and logistics and timing, at a crowded New York City upper east side restaurant on Saturday. They decided to make a recording of it, and they reached out to me and Mike because we did a story Friday about how Giuliani continues to talk to the president and that he's keeping a low profile.

It's interesting, Brooke, because Giuliani has emerged as a key figure in the impeachment probe as one of the people heavily involved with pushing Ukraine, being a part of that pressure campaign.

Now it appears he wants to re-enter and have a podcast where he can provide his own perspective of how things are going -- Brooke?


BALDWIN: OK. You get this scoop, and as we pointed out, Mike, you have since reached out to Giuliani's team. What are they saying in response?

MICHAEL WARREN, CNN REPORTER: Of course, and this is not a done deal in this podcast. This is what a spokeswoman for Giuliani told me. They did confirm talks are being had but said -- this is a quote -- "Many Americans want to hear directly from Rudy Giuliani. He's considering several options in consultation with Jay Sekulow and the president's legal team regarding the best way to move forward."

As of now, they have not decided on the strategy, but are getting very close.

Brooke, these conversations seem to be very much the details, in the planning stages of when they may launch, how these podcasts may be uploaded to the Internet.

This was very much in an advanced stage to try to figure out exactly how Giuliani can combat what Americans are going to be hearing in a lot of these hearings, a lot of these open-door hearings for the first time at which Giuliani is really an essential player in all this.


I guess what I'm hearing -- Pamela, back to you -- a counter move as each network will certainly be covering these televised impeachment hearings, how are they seeing it? Who are they investigating?

BROWN: That's a good point, Brooke. It may be a counter move for him. It is a risky move. It could be seen as a risky move.

As we know, our reporting from my colleagues, Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, he is under investigation, Rudy Giuliani is. In addition, two of his associates are, as we know, they have been indicted. And these are associates that he worked closely with. They were indicted on campaign finance violations. But they also had interactions with Ukraine that we're learning more about.

It could potentially be something that could pose a risk to him. But clearly, Giuliani is moving ahead with these plans, Brooke to launch this impeachment podcast. It's not a done deal, as Mike said, but they are clearly focused on it now.

BALDWIN: All right, Pamela Brown and Michael Warren, thank you for that. Keep us posted.

Meantime, new controversy on the campaign trail. One 2020 candidate doesn't think Iowa and New Hampshire should get to vote first. Julian Castro says they're not diverse enough. Is it time for a change? Let's talk to someone in Iowa.



BALDWIN: Democratic Presidential Candidate, Julian Castro, says it's well past time to shake up how the nation votes. He's calling for New Hampshire and Iowa to lose their leadoff rolls in this whole nomination process.


JULIAN CASTRO, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER HUD SECRETARY: I actually believe that we do need to change the order of the states, because I don't believe that we're the same country we were in 1972. That's when Iowa first held it's caucus first.

At the same time, demographically, it's not reflective of the United States as a whole. Certainly, not reflective of the Democratic Party.


BALDWIN: Castro also tweeted, "It's time for a primary to reflect our nation's diversity."

Keep in mind, he's barely polling at 1 percent in Iowa. He has actually shut down his New Hampshire campaign operations.

So let's go straight to Iowa, to a columnist for the "Des Moines Register."

Nice to have you back.



BALDWIN: Thank you. The Iowa Democratic Party chair says this is surprising coming from Castro. And you the Iowa Democratic chair saying Castro is blaming his own campaign's challenges on the voters.

You're there in Iowa, Rekha. What do you think of the point he's making, that it's not diverse enough?

BASU: It's not the first time I've heard this argument. And I used to make it myself when I first moved here some 20-some years ago that it was not diverse enough. Questions about specifically minorities and their status and affairs and future were not being asked enough.

I think Iowa has evolved quite a bit since then. Their organizations that have been formed since then, like Asian-Latino Commission, LULAC, the NAACP, has taken a stronger voice. There are a lot of organizations that are actually holding candidates feet to the fire, that are organizing blocks of voters of color, and are asking the tough questions.

I participated in an NAACP town hall a week ago with most of the candidates. They were being asked tough questions. So I think --


BALDWIN: Your own mind has changed?

BASU: My mind has changed.

The argument to be made for keeping Iowa in this role, besides the fact we get to meet all this people, is that it's such a small state, that every voter has had a chance to see each candidate live and in person about five times and to ask tough questions, to see them being asked, and they vote accordingly.

I think Iowa voters have a pretty good finger on the pulse of who's got the momentum and who doesn't. I'm sorry to say, Julian Castro has not shown the kind of energy that people are looking for.


BALDWIN: What about, Rekha, Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? He's not announced he's running yet, but he's planning to skip Iowa, skip New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and go straight to Super Tuesday. How much of a mistake do you think it is to write off those --


BASU: I think it's a mistake. I really think it's a mistake, in part, because he gets in too late, and the nation has not seen that much of him.

If you come to Iowa, you're on TV all the time. You're being interviewed. The national press is swarming around here.

If Bloomberg doesn't step in -- he's really missing out on the attention and the chance to hold himself side by side with the other candidates.

And quite frankly, aside from that, my take on this year's electorate is that they are really looking for someone who will electrify them. And that means standing up in front of them and getting them charged up and fired up.

And Bloomberg, if he doesn't come to Iowa to do that, whether or not can he do that is another question at all. If he's not coming to Iowa and making himself seen, felt or heard, I don't see where he picks up the momentum.

BALDWIN: OK. Again, he's not in it. Everyone's wondering, will he, won't he? We'll watch.

But Iowa is and always has been a key start in this massive process.

Rekha Basu, always great to have you on. Thank you very much, in Des Moines.

And a quick reminder to all of you. Watch tonight as former Vice President Joe Biden takes questions from voters live from Iowa in a CNN presidential town hall less than 100 days before the pivotal Iowa caucuses. CNN's Erin Burnett moderates. It happens at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN tonight. Please tune in.

Their feud is no secret. Well, just in, John Bolton's legal team is rejecting an alliance with the chief of staff at the White House, Mick Mulvaney, who is asking to join this lawsuit to get the courts to decide whether these former and current Trump officials should be forced to testify.

Stand by.



BALDWIN: A Michigan conservation officer has made saving lives part of the job.

CNN's Ryan Young tells us how he goes "BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY."


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michigan conservation officer, Jeff Ginn, patrols busy fishing waters of the Muskegon River in western Michigan, keeping hunters and fishermen safe while enforcing the laws of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which cover hundreds of square miles in Newaygo County, Michigan.

But, Officer Ginn, who, at times, can be the only peace officer for miles, has a knack of being in the right place at the right time.

JEFF GINN, MICHIGAN CONSERVATION OFFICER: Finding the girl was just pure luck and that's OK. YOUNG (on camera): Yes.

GINN: I'd rather be lucky than good.

YOUNG (voice-over): Officer Ginn is humble but, during the last 12 years, he's saved five lives while on duty. The Department of Natural Resources has awarded Ginn with four lifesaving awards. Most recently, helping save the life of a 75-year-old man suffering a heart attack. Within minutes of the 911 call from this small motel, Ginn was on the scene.

GINN: I started CPR, I shocked him. I did CPR for another cycle -- the AED shock. And then EMS arrived, firefighters arrived, and they hooked him up to their more advanced equipment and went from there. He was breathing on his own when I left and I was just like, holy cow, this stuff works.

YOUNG: In 2014, the father of two was part of a two-day search for a 2-year-old girl missing in the woods. On the second day, Ginn says he spotted something moving that he'll never forget.

GINN: It was like time stood still. I saw her. I had to like, almost tell myself, that's who you're looking for because I did not expect to see her standing upright. I took my helmet off and threw it on the ground and walked right over to her. And she reached her arms up for me and I gave her a big hug.

YOUNG: And before that, Ginn saved two boaters from the fast-rising Muskegon River.

GINN: The river was so high that we couldn't run our boats underneath this railroad trestle.

YOUNG: A man and his son were caught in fast-moving currents when their boat capsized.

GINN: We got them out of the water and gave them an emergency blanket, and we continued upriver for the child.

YOUNG (on camera): And then you find the kid.

GINN: And then we get the kid.

YOUNG: What's the --

GINN: Yes, they had a little reunion on the boat, you know. There were some tears. They were pretty emotional.

LT. JOE MOLNAR, MICHIGAN CONSERVATION OFFICER, GINN'S SUPERVISOR: I feel exceptionally proud, you know, to talk with Jeff and the steps that he takes to be prepared. It's exceptionally proud for me as a supervisor knowing I have officers that are as passionate as he is.

GINN: I really think this county and my assignment is fantastic. I love where I work. We have so much to do.

YOUNG (voice-over): Ryan Young, CNN, Newaygo County, Michigan.


BALDWIN: Well done, Ryan Young. Thank you for the story.

As we gear up for these historic public impeachment hearings, we'll talk about what to watch and who may be the X factor in the proceedings.

Plus, Nikki Haley confirms what the anonymous Trump officials have been warning. The members of the Trump administration undermined him on purpose because of his behavior. But what's Haley's strategy here?


We'll be right back.



BALDWIN: We continue on. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being here.