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Dems Looking At Multiple Articles Of Impeachment, Including Abuse Of Power, Obstruction Of Justice, Bribery; Bolton: White House Blocked My Twitter Account; Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) Is Interviewed About If More Public Hearings Are Needed At This Point In Impeachment Inquiry Of President Trump; Democrats Considering Multiple Impeachment Articles; Intel Officials Warned Senators About Russia's Push To Blame Ukraine For 2016 Attack On U.S. Election; Trump Repeats Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Despite Intel Officials' Warning That It Is False & Benefits Putin; Trump Opens Door to Pompeo Senate Run as Questions Grow About His Role in Ukraine; Biden Takes a Jab at Rival Deval Patrick for Canceling an Event Due to Low Attendance. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 22, 2019 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, the Intelligence Committee moving full speed ahead on impeaching President Trump. The Chairman tonight not ruling out more hearings as the White House says bring it on to a public trial. Plus, more breaking news, the President of the United States still pushing a lie about Ukraine despite an intelligence briefing we have learned about now telling him it's not true. And Michael Bloomberg dumping a jaw-dropping amount of money on television ads. Let's go out front.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, CNN is learning that Democrats are looking at multiple articles of impeachment against President Trump. They include abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, obstruction of justice and bribery.

This as House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff says his committee has begun writing its impeachment report. All of this is picking up speed right now. We're learning more about where we go tonight.

The Democratic House aides we now know will spend Thanksgiving week preparing that report and hearings now are expected to begin in the Judiciary Committee on the first week in December. The plan is to then hold the vote before Christmas.

But Chairman Schiff also isn't ruling out the possibility of even more hearings, maybe because of a key potential witness is breaking his silence for the first time since the inquiry began. And he's placing the blame on the White House for his silence.

The President's former National Security Advisor John Bolton breaking his silence on Twitter today tweeting, "Re: speaking up - since resigning as National Security Advisor, the White House refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I might say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I'm sorry to disappoint."

Out of fear of what he might say, well, the big question dangling, putting out there by Bolton will he, who knows all, appear at the last minute. It's a huge question for the President who tonight is trying to act like he has nothing to fear.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, I want a trial. You know, I think I can have it to be whatever I want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want a trial?

TRUMP: Oh, I would.


BURNETT: Well, as of right now it certainly looks like Trump will be impeached. That's the simple math. Democrats have the votes, so he gets impeached which means the Senate will hold a trial whether Trump wants it or not. Does he really want it like he says? Does he really want it?

It's funny because the more President Trump says he really wants something, he would love something to happen, history has shown the more the truth is the exact opposite. He really doesn't want it.


TRUMP: I want to release my tax returns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to talk to Mueller?

TRUMP: I'm looking forward to it, actually.

I'd love to have Mick go up, frankly. I think he'd do great. I'd love to have him to go up. I'd love to have almost every person go up when they know me.


BURNETT: Of course, he never released his tax returns, he never spoke to Mueller and he has not let Mick Mulvaney or any other single person testifying in the impeachment inquiry as he just said he wanted to there. So he says one thing, he means the opposite.

Kaitlan Collins is out front at the White House. And Kaitlan, the President says he really wants a trial, fact or fiction?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it may not matter either way because if the House does vote to impeach the President, a trial to the Senate is all but guaranteed. It's something that the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made crystal clear to the White House in recent weeks. Saying, "This is coming whether you want it or not, so you need to get ready."

That seems to be what's changed inside the White House. The President is coming into terms with the fact that this is actually happening. It's something he had been in denial about for several weeks according to people who have been speaking with him.

So the question now is what their defense is going to look like and the President has said he wants it to be aggressive. Though it's likely to look like what you saw that morning in this interview attacking Democrats, trying to undermine the credibility of these witnesses and, of course, floating those conspiracy theories about Ukraine that these intelligence officials have said just are not true.

And that's convoluted at best according to Republicans who are the ones having to defend the President here. But Erin, it's not the only convoluted thing happening here at the White House tonight, because John Bolton the former National Security Advisor was arriving back in Washington. And he's continuing to insist tonight that the White House blocked his Twitter account for the last two months, preventing him from being able to say anything. Offering an odd excuse saying that he believed that the White House had attached some kind of software to it and then removed the software, that's what he was telling those reporters there.

But refusing to answer questions about whether or not he's going to testify, instead just focusing on getting that Twitter account back, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much live from the White House tonight. I want to go now to the Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu who sits on the House Judiciary Committee which, of course, will be drafting articles of impeachment.

Congressman, great to have you with me tonight. So the House Intel Chair Adam Schiff says he's working on the report, they have started that process which, of course, they have to do to technically formally hand it to you. He though is not ruling out more depositions or hearings.


Do you think, Congressman Lieu, that more public hearings are needed at this point?

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Thank you, Erin, for your question. Let me first say that impeachment is one of the gravest powers of Congress, second only to our power to declare war. It must always be our last option.

Now, the evidence that has already come out certainly looks very bad for the President, but let me clarify. No decision has been made as to whether or not we impeach the President. We're going to get a report from Intelligence Committee. We'll love if Ambassador Bolton would decide to testify. We'll love

it if Mick Mulvaney would come and testify, but we're not going to wait months and months for a Supreme Court to make a decision on whether or not we can compel them to testify before we move forward.

BURNETT: All right. So the President says today that his party is strongly behind him. Here he is in that interview.


TRUMP: I don't think I've ever seen support in the Republican Party like we do right now.


BURNETT: And Congressman, in a lot of levels it looks like he's right. No Republicans, so far, in the House have said they would vote to impeach even after two weeks of testimony which has consistently and repeatedly said that there was a quid pro quo at the direction of the President.

In fact, Congressman Will Hurd who is retiring, the most moderate Republican on the Intelligence Committee, a lot of people thought that he could be someone who could go for impeachment. He has now said the President's call was 'inappropriate misguided foreign policy'. But then he went on to say this.


REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): An impeachable offense should be compelling, overwhelmingly clear, and unambiguous and it's not something to be rushed or taken lightly. I've not heard evidence proving the President committed bribery or extortion.


BURNETT: If you can't get Hurd, do you think you can get any Republicans to vote for impeachment?

LIEU: One of the greatest disappointments that I've seen are our current elected Members of Congress who happen to be Republican who seem to look at the facts in a very partisan manner. What these two weeks of hearing showed, yes, the President of the United States solicited foreign interference in our elections, that's illegal. He then made it worse by using the powers of his office to withhold critical military aid to Ukraine to withhold an important White House meeting to pressure the Ukrainians to launch two bogus investigations into the Bidens and the DNC.

We had former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan today write an op-ed that basically said the President, his defenders have no real good defense for what the President did. I wish my Republican colleagues in Congress would see the same thing.

BURNETT: So you have John Bolton in this context. You saw his tweet today blaming the White House for blocking him from his Twitter account and he questions whether they did it quote out of fear of what I may say.

This is the big question. You said you don't want to wait into the new year, but do you think that getting somebody like John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney is now essential to get somebody like Congressman Hurd onboard and is it even worth it?

LIEU: So I'm a former prosecutor and what happens in these investigations is oftentimes you'll get a lot of evidence and then you'll realize to get the next tranche of evidence, you might have to wait a very long time and even make a decision as to whether or not there's enough to go forward. But it doesn't mean investigation stops.

The investigation is going to keep on continuing, so if at any time Ambassador Bolton wants to do the right thing and come to Congress and tell us what he knows, we're going to gladly take that. If Mick Mulvaney wants to do the right thing we'll hear them.

BURNETT: So would you support fighting it in court, go ahead with your vote, do you think you could still fight it in court and have him appear sometime next year even when you're not in a formal impeachment as oversight, you could still have him come in and deliver his testimony or no?

LIEU: So unfortunately ambassador Bolton's attorney has said that he will fight the subpoena in court, which means they'll go all the way to the Supreme Court and it'll take a very long time for that decision. But ambassador Bolton could just do what his staff has done and come forward and tell Congress what he knows. That will be the patriotic thing to do.

BURNETT: The House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is going even farther than the President's team. They think that there won't be a vote for impeachment, but McCarthy is telling Manu Raju that they're going to get every single Republican to vote against impeachment and that quote I think we're going to gain Dems.

So they think Democrats are going to come over to their side. Are you a hundred percent sure that Democrats will all vote to impeach? Obviously, even for the inquiry you didn't have a hundred percent.

LIEU: That's correct. For the inquiry, there are two Democrats that did not support the inquiry. There was one independent and former Republican Justin Amash who did. And what we know now based on the facts is that the President abuse his power, he pressured Ukraine to launch two bogus investigations to interference in our elections.

Now, what Members of Congress do with those facts, it's going to be up to our conscience, the districts that we represent and then we're going to make a decision in December.

BURNETT: In December. All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Lieu. I appreciate it.


LIEU: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, Intelligence officials warned this was not true.


TRUMP: Ukraine hated me. They were after me in the election. They wanted Hillary Clinton to win.


BURNETT: Plus, more breaking news, the FBI cleared in a report about the launch of the investigation into Russian election meddling. It found no anti-Trump bias at the top of the FBI. So what will the President have to say about that? And Biden taking a big time swing at a new opponent.



BURNETT: Breaking news, CNN learning U.S. Intelligence officials warned senators, telling them in a classified briefing that Putin is engaging in the years long campaign to frame Ukraine for his attack on America's 2016 election. But that is not stopping the President from pushing Putin's story. Here is Trump just this morning.


TRUMP: Ukraine hated me. They were after me in the election. They wanted Hillary Clinton to win.


BURNETT: The President pushing the debunked claim that Ukraine meddled in the U.S. election just a day after his former top Russia Adviser Fiona Hill warned against it.


FIONA HILL, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER TOP RUSSIA ADVISER: This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.


BURNETT: Out front now, Nia Malika Henderson, our Senior Political Reporter, Carl Bernstein, who's part of The Washington Post team which won the Pulitzer Prize for the Watergate coverage and Carrie Cordero former Counsel to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General.

Carl, Republicans, obviously, most prominently the President of the United States have been pushing this conspiracy theory even though they have been warned by American intelligence officials as recently as weeks ago that it is BS and it plays right into Putin's hands, why? Why are they doing this? CARL BERNSTEIN, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Because

there's very little interest in the truth by the President's Republican defenders, which is a really terrible thing given the grievous nature of the President's corruption, his illegal acts that have now been demonstrably made apparent through the impeachment hearings.

The Republican Party is really also on trial in the Senate and we'll see if there's any breaking of ranks. And right now it doesn't appear that there is going to be, but I think it will be many, many years that the Republican Party will be judged for what it does in this trial of Donald Trump.

But also to your point, Mr. Bolton, who earlier in the program, you're describing his Twitter situation, there are no shackles on his mouth, just on his Twitter account.

BURNETT: You're right.

BERNSTEIN: And there's no reason he can't go before the committee just as Fiona Hill, his deputy did yesterday, and say this is nonsense, this disproven allegation about that Ukraine was responsible.

BURNETT: Right. Which, of course, Tom Bossert did. I want to talk about Mr. Bolton in just a moment. Carrie, what do you make of this though that the President continues to do this, that some of his Republican allies continued to publicly do it? Of course, we heard Devin Nunes do it just yesterday in the hearing when they've been told it's a lie, not only is it a lie, but it is a lie that is helping Vladimir Putin.

CARRIE CORDERO, FORMER COUNSEL TO THE U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY: Right. Also there's so many different angles to this. So first of all, I mean, we knew going into the hearings that this theory was bunked, that Ukraine was responsible for the election interference. We knew that the considered assessment of the intelligence community was that it was Russia behind it and that this Ukraine story was just a conspiracy theory and was - and had been debunked.

So what's interesting now is who actually in government has received these briefings that then go the step farther that say that really there actually is intelligence information indicating that this conspiracy theory, this line of theory is actually Putin talking points or Russian talking points. And so the new reporting tonight from The New York Times is really interesting because it says that the Senate, at least some Members of the Senate have been briefed.

So I'm curious about is has the President personally been briefed on that Intelligence reporting.


CORDERO: Have Members of the House Intelligence Committee been briefed on that. Because if they were briefed and then they went out in open hearing and actively trafficked in this conspiracy theory, then that sort of the whole next level. And now that the report is out, one would think that starting this moment, anybody in a government position of responsibility would stop doing this and yet they're not. They're continuing to spread this information.

BURNETT: So Nia, this was just a part of Trump's interview today in which he said things that do not align with the truth, listen.


TRUMP: This guy, Sondland - he was really a European Union Ambassador, and all of a sudden, he is working on this.

GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the expressed direction of the President of the United States.

TRUMP: The Ambassador, the woman, she wouldn't even put up, she's an Obama person.

HILL: I joined the foreign service during the Reagan administration and subsequently served three other Republican Presidents.

TRUMP: And I will tell you this about Joe Biden, I never said it specifically on him.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): You heard the President of the United States asked the President of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, is that correct?



BURNETT: And that's, I guess, the tip of the iceberg, Nia, but it makes the point. He just blatantly went on television and lied about three things that everyone else testified to under oath. Does he just think that if he keeps saying those lies people will believe him?


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think that's right and the proof of that is what we saw in those hearings, in hours and hours of hearings where the House Republicans were essentially parroting some of these conspiracy theories that he himself has been trafficking in about Ukraine for instance that last bit where he says that he never really said the Bidens. Well, he's been instructing everybody to read the transcript, in the transcript the Bidens come up.

So this is, I think, his whole strategy. It's been his strategy from the time he announced that he was going to run for President, that he could create his own reality, create his own truth and be kind of connected and bonded with his base of supporters that he would get them to believe what he was saying. And, of course, another part of that strategy was to hammer the media,

basically say don't believe anything that the media says and frame himself as the only arbiter of truth and we've seen that. I think Republicans have carried that water for him.

BURNETT: It's stunning because, of course, putting aside the media which we all have a vested interest in believing and in believing in its importance to this country. All you needed there is the President versus people under oath. You don't need any intermediary to show what he said to be false.

This comes as, Carrie, Carl brought up John Bolton and he says he has something to say, stay tuned he says. And then he's accusing the White House of silencing him which, of course, as Carl pointed out, he could open his mouth and speak, but he's accusing them of silencing his Twitter account literally of attaching software so that he could not use it, here he is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did the White House block your access to your Twitter account?

JOHN BOLTON, U.S. FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: They attached software to it and Twitter unattached the software to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you concerned that they are trying to stop you from testifying?

BOLTON: I don't know. You'll have to ask the White House but I can say definitively, we have regained control of the Twitter account. Twitter detached the White House software.


BURNETT: Carrie, he says stay tuned. By the way Trump denies blocking Bolton, but he could open his mouth anytime he wants. So do you buy any of this that they're trying to silence him, that he actually really wants to sell his side of the story or not?

CORDERO: Well, I mean let's separate the Twitter issue. So there could be a plausible explanation. Maybe he had it on some kind of dual factor authentication or some reason why he was blocked out of his Twitter account for a little while when he left the White House, but that's not really the point.

The point is that John Bolton could march himself over to the Capitol and raise his right hand and testify either in closed session, in a deposition or in an open hearing if they wanted to have it. And he could have done that last week, he could have done that this past week and he could do that at any time.

And so he's making a choice. He's a former government official who has a personal knowledge about what was going on in the White House. And if he wanted to testify in this important historic proceeding before the Congress, he could anytime. BURNETT: All right. All of you stay with me, because ...

BERNSTEIN: I want to add one thing very quickly here.


BERNSTEIN: We are seeing the former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States toying with the National Security of the United States by shirking his duty. Let's be clear, he's sitting here playing with us. Thinks it's kind of amusing. There's nothing amusing about this exercise.

BURNETT: All right. All of you please stay with me, as I said, and I want to make sure all of our viewers know about Jake's special report this weekend about the impact of what happens if the President of the United States does not tell the truth. Jake's SPECIAL REPORT ALL THE PRESIDENT'S LIES Sunday night at nine.

And next, the breaking news, the highly anticipated report turning out very differently than Trump expected. What does it say? What's the conclusion? Is there bias against him at the highest levels of the FBI? And as questions grow around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump gets behind Pompeo run for Senate.


TRUMP: If he thought there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that, and he would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas.




BURNETT: Breaking news, no bias at the top of the FBI. Tonight, we know the conclusion of the long awaited report that Trump himself asked for. Trump repeated accusing top leaders of America's intelligence agencies are working against him. And tonight, CNN has learned that according to the independent DOJ Inspector General, those accusations are without merit and that the FBI investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election was properly launched.

Everyone is back with me and I want to start with that big overarching point, Nia. President Trump, obviously, had a very different set of expectations for this report. Let me let him say it in his own words.


TRUMP: What you're going to see, I predict, will be perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country, political scandal. The word is it's historic. That's what the word is. That's what I hear. And if it's historic, you're going to see something.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: OK. So that's not what it's going to say from everything we

understand that we're reporting and other outlets are reporting in terms of his accusation of bias at the top of the FBI. So what happens then, Nia, does his base still believe him?

HENDERSON: I think his base still believes him. I mean I think that's a theme here, right? Republican lawmakers lining up behind him to defend him and kind of carry his water in terms of his conspiracy theories about a deep state. I think he'll probably seize on to this finding that an FBI agent - they're looking into the fact that an FBI agent may have changed some information on a FISA warrant for Carter Page. I think he'll seize onto that.


But listen, Donald Trump is a hype man, right, for his own conspiracy theories, for his own lies. And in that way, I think he is able to continuingly convince his base that he's right and continually convinces base that there is in fact a deep state, that there are these Obama holdovers and people who win against you know, their oaths to carry a favor, or have fine favor with Hillary Clinton.

So, you know, I mean, it's very disturbing. I think we'll see it over and over again from this president. It has worked in terms of having folks vacuum Republicans, but listen, I think it likely has its limits. And this report obviously coming out by people who you pointed people in his own administration and saying , listen, Mr. President, again, you were wrong.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: I mean, so, Carrie, you know a lot about the details here and obviously this is a president, right, who's called the -- you know, people can do leadership for the FBI the CIA biased against him, dirty cops or words he used when talking about the origins of this entire investigation. And so, the headline right is no bias at the top of the FBI and this was launched properly.

But yet, Nia mentions it, the report is expected from what we understand to say that lower-level employees made mistakes and CNN first reported about that former FBI lawyer who's under investigation for possibly altering a document related to that surveillance of the former Trump aide Carter Page. This is an area you know a lot about. Is it a big deal?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it depends on what the report actually says. So, you know,, my experience in bringing FISA applications to the FISA court many years ago, the FISA process is very complex. So there's a lot of moving parts.

I've never seen an inspector general's report that comes out that says everything was done perfectly, no problems at all, everything is absolutely done, you know, 100 percent perfect. So any inspector general report that comes out of the Department of Justice is going to identify things that could have been done differently, things that could have been done better and it's going to find problems. The key with respect to FISA applications is, did those problems did -- if there was something that was done wrong, did it affect the integrity of the FISA pleading itself? In other words, did it -- would it have changed the probable cause assessment? Would it have changed the judge's decision because these are judges -- federal judges that approve these applications? And so far, based on the reporting that we're getting so far, there is nothing in this inspector general's report that indicates that the application itself was granted in error.

And that's the key point. Do I think the president will seize on some detail of something that wasn't done right? Of course, but the key point is that it looks like this report will not find that there was something systematically wrong or abuse of the process overall.

BURNETT: Which is, of course, something all Americans should be celebrating.

Carl, also today, the president, you know, sits down at the White House has his lunch and he brings in Republican Senator Mitt Romney. There's a meeting on youth vaping at the White House. So this is how they end up together. He invites him.

Look, we know these two don't like each other, you could see the president's body language when they were in a two-shot. It was pretty atrocious. If anyone needs a reminder of the feelings, here we go.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Here's what I know, Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When we had that stiff, Mitt Romney, a total stiff, running, who by the way, he's a dope.

ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

TRUMP: Romney choked like a dog.

ROMNEY: The president United States asks or presses the leader of a foreign country to carry out an investigation of a political nature, that's troubling.

TRUMP: They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don't have people like that. They stick together.


BURNETT: Carl, look, they loathe each other, that's the facts and it's on a moral basis for Mitt Romney and a personal basis for President Trump. So, now, they're sitting together and Trump it brings Romney to the White House, you know, clearly because he knows he's going to need them in a Senate trial, right?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that's one of the reasons. Look, I think you know everything we have been talking about today from the beginning of this broadcast is about a president who is untruthful in ways and to an extent that had never been dreamed somebody holding the Oval Office could be this dishonest, this disinterested in truth, lies to the extent that he does, is contemptuous of the law to the extent that he is, but I keep coming back to an amazing support of the Republican Party in Congress for this president. And if it continues, the real role of the Republican Party here ensure the base is ginned up.

But perhaps the real role of the Republican Party is Barry Goldwater and others in Watergate, Howard Baker, said, look, we cannot have a republic that is governed by a chief executive, by a president such as this who lies, is contemptuous of the law, breaks the law, is untruthful.


And that's the juncture where at and hopefully someone in the Republican Party of influence is going to break this logjam.

BURNETT: All right, I appreciate all of your time on those -- on those words. Thank you.

And next, is President Trump giving Mike Pompeo a nudge toward running for Senate?

And Joe Biden on his newest opponent.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like Deval. I think this is about deciding who is ready on day one --


BIDEN: -- to unite this country.



BURNETT: Tonight, Trump backing Pompeo big time, flattering his secretary of state who knows a lot about Trump's actions on Ukraine and who has so far stayed silent and loyal. Trump wants to keep it that way and now, he's pumping up Pompeo by saying he would win a Senate race in a, quote, landslide if he ran.

This as questions grow about just how big Pompeo's role was in Trump's Ukraine quid pro quo.

Kylie Atwood is OUTFRONT.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER (voice-over): It's a subject the secretary of state has repeatedly dismissed. MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Even while all of this noise is

going on. You all are fixated on this. I'm not going to get into the issues surrounding the Democrat impeachment inquiry.

ATWOOD: But now, one of his own ambassadors has placed him squarely in the middle of the story.



ATWOOD: Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., told lawmakers Pompeo knew about the quid pro quo with Ukraine and claimed he did nothing to stop it.

SONDLAND: We kept the leadership of the State Department and the NSC informed of our activities and that included communications with Secretary of State Pompeo.

ATWOOD: Sondland came with proof, multiple e-mails he sent to Pompeo. In one, he laid out a plan to get President Zelensky to commit, quote, on those issues of importance to POTUS and the U.S., meaning investigations which would politically benefit President Trump. Sondland hoped, he told Pompeo, that this proposal, could, quote, break the logjam.

Pompeo replied yes.

SONDLAND: And the White House --

ATWOOD: While Sondland delivered testimony in Washington, Pompeo was in Brussels, expressing disinterest.

POMPEO: I didn't hear a single thing. I was working. Sounds you might not have been.

ATWOOD: A State Department spokesperson put out a statement, denying Sondland's allegations.

Gordon Sondland never told Secretary Pompeo that he believed the president was linking aid to investigations of political opponents. Any suggestions to the contrary is flat-out false.

But in October, Pompeo admitted he was listening in on the now infamous Trump-Zelensky call on July 25th where Trump made that ask. Pompeo, an ardent defender of President Trump, saw nothing wrong with that call and has alleged election interference by former Vice President Joe Biden based on no evidence.

POMPEO: America cannot have our elections interfered with and if that's what took place there, if there was that kind of activity engaged in by Vice President Biden, we need to know.

ATWOOD: Last month when asked about holding up foreign assistance for a political initiative, the exact thing that Sondland believes Pompeo knew about, Pompeo said this.

POMPEO: I never saw that in the decision making process that I was a part of.

ATWOOD: Pompeo has made a decision not to defend career foreign service officers by name, even after Trump smeared Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch with a tweet erroneously claiming that everywhere she went turned bad.

POMPEO: I don't have anything to say. I'll defer to the White House about particular statements and the like.

ATWOOD: One possible offer for Pompeo --

TRUMP: They love him in Kansas.

ATWOOD: -- the president appearing to give Pompeo an exit strategy, adding to the speculation that Pompeo will leave his job to run for Senate.

TRUMP: If he thought there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that and he would win in a landslide.


ATWOOD: Now, Republicans are fearful that they could potentially lose that Kansas Senate seat to the Democrats if Pompeo doesn't jump in the race, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been up front with the fact that he wants Pompeo to run.

Pompeo came in to the State Department promising to revitalize the department, to really boost the morale, but there are fears that if he leaves now, the fact that he hasn't defended career Foreign Service officers could have a negative impact on his long-term legacy -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kylie.

And next, Joe Biden on the attack against rich guys running for president. This as Michael Bloomberg drops $30 million in one fell swoop on an ad.

And the face of an impeachment inquiry, just one of the most memorable moments observed by Jeanne.



BURNETT: Tonight, no more Mr. Nice Guy. Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden is coming out, taking on rival former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

In an interview with my colleague Don Lemon, just listen to this part.


BIDEN: He went down to Morehouse and there's -- all these hundreds of seats and no one showed up.


BIDEN: So, look, I like Deval. I really do. He's a good guy and he's a solid guy.


BURNETT: All right. Biden is not wrong about Morehouse. That is the image of the empty room at Morehouse College where Patrick was supposed to speak. The event was canceled after only two people showed up.

I do want to be fair though, the event was scheduled with almost no notice, you know, an hour before the Democratic debate.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic strategist Keith Boykin, and former Clinton White House press secretary, Joe Lockhart.

So, Joe, do you think this is the right strategy for Biden to be taking?

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. I think Biden's appeal and his brand is that he brings people together. He ended up complimenting Deval. They know each other. They know each other well. It's kind of a cheap shot.

And, you know, I think the bigger picture for Biden as he goes around and talks about how much support he has in the African-American community, which is true, but he's -- he's got to earn that support, and you know, taking a shot at Deval, I think, was off brand.

BURNETT: Off brand. I mean, Keith, here's the thing to his point about the black vote, right, Biden is giving this interview with Don in South Carolina, 60 percent of the primary voters there are black. He announced an endorsement today which was a slam to Pete Buttigieg, right? His fast rising rival.

Oliver Davis is one of the longest-serving black council members in South Bend, Indiana, comes out and endorses Biden today, saying Buttigieg has struggled to win over communities of color, it's a, quote, consistent issue that's not going away.

But here's the thing, Keith, is Joe Biden in a bad spot? Is he betting on black voters in the third state to vote to -- for him?

KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, that's a gamble you take, when you make that risk and calculation that that's your firewall in South Carolina, he's also doing well in Nevada, by the way, which is much more diverse than Iowa and New Hampshire.


BOYKIN: But I'm not sure that we'll see the results we have right now in February when we have the Iowa caucuses. We've seen this in every four-year election cycle where you have a front-runner for a month or two and another, and another. It changes.

So, Pete Buttigieg is the flavor of the month. But who knows who is going to be the flavor in December and January?




So, I think in terms of reaching black voters, Pete Buttigieg has got a lot of work to do. Biden's appeal is primarily that he is electable, especially for older black voters, he's electable and he's connected to Barack Obama.

But for younger black voters, that doesn't resonate. He's got to offer something more, something new to appeal to them. And so far, he hasn't done that.

BURNETT: Right, and that's going to be the big test, right? Certainly especially if that group, younger black voters take another look at Pete Buttigieg now that he's been surging in polls.

Joe Biden also jumped at the chance -- this case it was a punch but not the first punch, it was a counterpunch at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Let me play this part of the exchange with Don.


LEMON: Someone in his campaign said or someone said specifically he has specific concerns about your ability to carry this through to the finish line. What do you say about that?

BIDEN: Watch me. Watch me. The idea that I'm not in better shape than Mayor Bloomberg physically and otherwise --


BURNETT: What I like about -- to be fair, Bloomberg had laid that out there. So Biden was punching back there, but take the age issue by the horns. By the way, I do want to note, Bloomberg is nine months older then Joe Biden, but statistically, it is an insignificant difference.

LOCKHART: It is within the margin of error.

BURNETT: They are both 77 as of two days ago, but they're fighting about this.

LOCKHART: Yes, listen, I think the broader point that Bloomberg people were making is that the field -- Democrats are not excited about the field. That's just not true. Every poll has shown there is excitement.

I actually think Bloomberg getting in helps Biden for two reasons. One is he's going to spend a lot of money and he's going to spend a lot of money doing two thing, one, attacking Donald Trump. Two, attacking the ideas that he believes are out of the mainstream, the ideas that have been espoused by Warren and Sanders and the most progressive part of the party.

BURNETT: Basically paying to do Joe Biden's dirty work.

LOCKHART: Well, I don't think he's paying to do Joe Biden's dirty work. I don't think that's what Bloomberg is, but I think that may be the effect.

BURNETT: It's interesting. Well, I mean, they agree on those points. You're talking about more moderate points and taking on Donald Trump.

Keith what, about this, though, the money? You know, Biden tonight saying, well people think if they have a billion dollars they think can beat Trump and said obviously -- a veiled -- not a veiled but swipe at Bloomberg for spending $29 million on an ad buy today, but money can buy you a lot.

BOYKIN: Money can't buy you everything. It can't buy you love. In this case, I think --

BURNETT: Voter love.

BOYKIN: Or votes, you know?

I've been saying this for a while. I don't know why like Michael Bloomberg is running. I don't think he has any chance of winning. I think it's a fool's errand.

I think it's wise that Joe Biden is taking him on and I disagree with Joe in the sense that even if Bloomberg does sort of make the same message that Biden wants to make Bloomberg is an imperfect messenger. He does not resonate with the base. He turns the base off, I think. So I don't think he is a good person to --

BURNETT: Well, I just like the battle of septuagenarians. I like to say it. I love -- it's a word we don't get to use a lot.

And now, you've got -- you got Warren and you got Trump and you got Sanders and you got Biden and you got Bloomberg, and, you know?

LOCKHART: It's about 300 years between them.

BURNETT: And you can watch more of Don's interview, a great one, with Joe Biden on "CNN TONIGHT" starting at 10:00.

And next, public impeachment hearings played for laughs.


REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): He called you, quote/unquote, the Gordon problem.

SONDLAND: That's what my wife calls me.





BURNETT: The impeachment inquiry part two as seen by Jeanne Moos. Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It could leave you in stitches, wonderful day crocheting and watching the impeachment as they needle each other.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): Asinine theory.

REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): Is Donald Trump your friend?

SONDLAND: I remember the first girl I kissed.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: He called you, quote/unquote, the Gordon problem.

SONDLAND: That's what my wife calls me.


MOOS: Ambassador Gordon Sondland was laughing, drinking, drinking and refilling his drink, fidgeting in his seat but generally jolly. One body language expert said he was signaling his emotional relief.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: The president tweeted that you are a really good man and a great American. One month later, he said, let me just tell you, I hardly know the gentleman.

SONDLAND: Easy come, easy go.

MOOS: It didn't look easy for ranking Republican Devin Nunes. When the committee took a break, so did his face.

Many found it impossible to curb their enthusiasm for the fashion hit of the hearings, a bow tie and pocket hanky. Loving George Kent's bow tie and the guy known for the extra-long red tie chimed in.

TRUMP: Like Kent with a nice bowtie. Wonderful bow tie. Maybe I'll get one for myself someday.

MOOS: Don't tell that to Judge Jeanine on Fox News.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The bozo in a bow tie.

MOOS: But forget fashion. Think naked. Nunes repeatedly bashed the Democrats.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): They got caught trying to obtain nude photos of President Trump.

MOOS: It's true. Two Russian pranksters did once get through to Committee Chair Adam Schiff offering naked Trump pictures. Schiff's spokesman told "The Atlantic" the call seemed bogus and alerted law enforcement.

But just the thought struck fear into those who have glimpsed those naked statues of the president. There were taunts that it's Nunes who is obsessed.

The Internet obsessed over a reporter caught guzzling coffee behind Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.


MOOS: Emma Dumain told 'Slate", luckily, I didn't miss my mouth, as she gulped down the last drops.

Samantha Bee noted this pair of enthusiastic spectators when you get put on the jumbotron at the impeachment hearing. The star witness of the hearing seemed almost giddy. Tell the chairman, call a break.

Sondland was worried he'd miss his flight attendant. Now, that's an impeachable expression.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Thank you for joining us.

Anderson starts now.