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Giuliani Associate Willing To Testify GOP Devin Nunes Went To Europe For Biden Dirt; House Dems To Spend Next Week Preparing Impeachment Report; Lindsey Graham Asks State Department For Documents Related To The Bidens & Ukraine; NYT: Allegations Of Ukraine Meddling Part Of Russia Operation; John Bolton Claims White House Froze His Twitter Account; Michael Bloomberg Buys $29 Million In TV Ads; Vice President Mike Pence Visits Troops In Iraq; Axios: Pro-Trump Group Finds Voters Are Unconvinced On Impeachment; Weather Could Spoil Thanksgiving Travel. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 23, 2019 - 08:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani is willing to tell Congress with meetings Devin Nunes had last year with an ex- Ukrainian official to get dirt on Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This whole impeachment is about a shadow foreign policy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That Devin Nunes appears to have some involvement in. He is a drama in this play himself and yet he has not told anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President's ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton is accusing the White House of blocking his Twitter account over the past two months since he was fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you guys freeze his account?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, of course not.

STEPHANIE GRISHAM, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Somebody who is of an advanced age may not understand that all you have to do is contact Twitter and reset your password.

REPORTER: Are you concerned they're trying to stop you from testifying.



ANNOUNCER: This is new day weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you this morning. We begin with two huge developments that could really have a major impact on the impeachment proceedings against President Trump coming up.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: First, new allegations that Congressman Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intel Committee who lead this fierce defense of the President during the hearings, went to Vienna last year to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

A lawyer for Rudy Giuliani's indicted associate Lev Parnas says his client is willing to tell Congress from the meetings.

PAUL: Now, the man Nunes allegedly met with was the same ex-Ukrainian prosecutor that Joe Biden and other world leaders fought to oust, because he was not fighting corruption.


VICKY WARD, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: And who was fired in 2016 under pressure by many western leaders, including our then-Vice President Joe Biden. He has an axe to grind against the Bidens. Viktor Shokin is the man who has claimed to have dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden. He has claimed to have evidence that Ukraine meddled in our election.


PAUL: Plus new documents released last night by court order reveal the White House helped set up a phone call between Giuliani, President Trump's Personal Attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

BLACKWELL: We'll get to that in a moment. But let's start with the alleged meeting between Congressman Nunes and the ex-Ukrainian prosecutor. We've got Kristen Holmes at the White House this morning with more.

I mean when you put the reporting of this alleged meeting in the context of all of the American people watched for the last two weeks, this is really a stunning development.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Victor, absolutely. And Nunes was the one going after all of these witnesses, really grilling them, at points mocking them, mocking the process and repeatedly calling the Democrats inquiry a conspiracy theory.

Now listen to how he defined this process.


REPORTER: How do you respond to Ambassador Sondland's evidence today that you directed him to coordinate Ukraine policy with the President's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The second one is easy. I didn't see a single thing that I was working. Sounds like you might not have been. I was in meetings all day and haven't had a chance to see any of that testimony.


HOLMES: OK. So that was not what I was intending to show there, but I will define it to you. So Nunes apparently called - sorry, not apparently. We watched Nunes say that this Democratic inquiry was a hoax. At one point he even asked why would the President ask Ukraine, a country that Nunes said, that President doesn't even like, to investigate the Bidens.

Well, this is all very interesting given the fact that now allegedly Nunes was a part of that inquiry. As you said, here is what Lev Parnas's attorney is telling us, that Lev Parnas wants to go in front of Congress and testify that Nunes met with Viktor Shokin, you just heard all about him, the ex-Ukrainian prosecutor, back in December in Vienna to get dirt on the Bidens.

I want to emphasize here. Shokin, obviously has a reason, an axe to grind because Biden was part of the office to get Shokin removed from his office. Now how is Lev Parnas involved in all of this? Well, nunes came back from Vienna and reached out to Parnas and said that he wanted Parnas and Giuliani, who had their own effort to look into the Bidens, to merge efforts with Nunes.

And at one point even a staff member of Nunes meeting with Parnas to try and brainstorm what Ukrainian prosecutors they could reach out to who might have information on this. This is not a good look for Devin Nunes. And, of course, our team reached out to him and I want to read you exactly what Nunes's sponsor was or lack of response was.

He said, to be perfectly clear I don't acknowledge any questions from you in this lifetime or the next lifetime, so not exactly a denial, but certainly not answer there.


BLACKWELL: Yes. Not an answer at all and we should also point out that we should also consider the source, consider the circumstances of Lev Parnas, the man who was facing federal charges for campaign finance potential violations.

Let me get now what we saw a tease of with the sound bite playing, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the release of the court order of these documents and his communications with Rudy Giuliani. Tell us what you have learned?

HOLMES: Right. So late last night we see this document dump from the State Department, and remember that there have been multiple complaints that the White House, the State Department refused to turn over any documents. Now, these were revealed under a court order by a nonprofit oversight group.

And essentially what they show is that Secretary of State Pompeo repeatedly spoke with Rudy Giuliani, two specific phone calls before Pompeo received the packet of information from Giuliani that allegedly had this information, this dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

There is a lot of interesting detail here. First of all, a second call - the second call before the packet was released - was organized and coordinated by the White House, Giuliani reaching out to the White House, President Trump's personal secretary, and saying he couldn't get in touch with the Secretary of State and the personal secretary putting the two of them in touch.

So this goes to show you that there's no real argument here that the White House didn't know anything that was going on because they were helping coordinate these calls with the personal attorney, with Rudy Giuliani.

The second thing here is the fact that Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, has really tried to distance himself from this entire inquiry, particularly Rudy Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine. He tried to distance himself from that packet of information, and this is all coming after the Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, testified that Pompeo was in on it, that all of these administration officials were in on it.

Everybody knew about it and, of course, I'm not going to play that tease for you again. But I will just reiterate Pompeo's response was, he hadn't even seen Sondland's testimony, so - and then he, of course, degraded and snapped at a reporter saying they weren't doing their job.

So we're still waiting for some kind of reaction here from the Secretary of State. And a lot of people are speculating that Pompeo is going to want to get out of this and run for Senate back home in Kansas and just kind of extricate himself from the entire situation.

BLACKWELL: Kristen Holmes, anyone who thought that the breaking news headlines would slow down once the testimony ended was wrong. Kristen Holmes for us there at the White House, thank you.

PAUL: Take a nice, deep breath.


PAUL: Seung Min Kim is with us now. She is a CNN Political Analyst and White House Reporter for "The Washington Post", good to see you. I wanted to ask you with all of this new news that is coming in, just even this morning, would it be responsible - a responsible act for Democrats to push the impeachment through to their deadline or do we need to step back and take some time here? There may be new witnesses obviously.

SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, this is a struggle that Democrats have had to deal with for some time, because obviously, in addition to these new developments and the new reporting from last night, Democrats have constantly been battling to try to bring in key witnesses who may have closer knowledge of the Ukraine issue. But they have resisted subpoenas there, resisted orders from Congress.

John Bolton clearly is a star witness that Democrats would love to have, and a lot of the other key players - a lot of the key players of the issue, such as Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of Mike Pompeo, it's pretty clear they're not going to appear before Congress.

And Democrats have made it adamantly clear over the last several weeks that they're not going to wait. Of course, they are not going to wait for other factors to kind of weigh in to provide for - perhaps try to get a more fuller investigation before they continue with their impeachment inquiry, because they have sort of a tentative timeline set out here.

They are preparing the report after we saw days of these bombshell, very significant testimonies, in the House Intelligence Committee. The Committee is now preparing the report to come out in the coming days. The fight will now move to the House Judiciary Committee where they will prepare articles of impeachment, and the House wants to have that key impeachment vote by Christmas.

And it's unclear how much democrats will be entertaining anything that really slows down that timeline.

PAUL: Yes. I mean they're working through this week - this Thanksgiving week. Let's talk about Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the Senate Judiciary Chairman, of course. He requested documents related to Joe Biden and his son Hunter's previous work in Ukraine.

He said before these claims should be investigated. But let's listen together to what he said about Joe Biden - this is back in 2015



SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If you can't admire Joe Biden as a person there's probably - you got a problem and you need to do some self- evaluation. And he's the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics. He is as good a man as God ever created.


PAUL: What is the excuse, the reasoning behind this flip from Graham on somebody that clearly used to be his friend?

KIM: Well, you're completely right that it is a stark flip. I mean, I was old enough to remember when Lindsey Graham said he would not investigate the Bidens, because that was about three weeks ago, when he told reporters that he did not want to turn the Senate into a circus, that he did not plan to investigate, ask for documents, call Hunter Biden before the Senate Judiciary Committee which is the committee that he chairs, which he completely flipped on earlier this week when he launched that investigation.

But there are a couple of things going on with Lindsey Graham. And I know it is a topic that's been kind of a topic that's been discussed for quite a while, how you go from someone who was an adamant, critic and very vocal critic of Donald Trump to the Lindsey Graham that he is today.

A lot of it is his personal politics. He is someone up for reelection in 2020. He has always looked for a primary challenge to his right. In the last cycle he was derided as Lindsey Graham that stood for his work on immigration reform. And he also had been under a lot of pressure from Trump allies to investigate the Bidens.

There been a lot of pressure from Trump world that he wasn't doing enough, that he wasn't using the perch and the powers of the Judiciary Committee to launch these investigations into the Bidens.

The other, kind of, broad issue with Lindsey Graham and kind of explains his evolution from the clip that you saw from him talking about Joe Biden in 2015 to what he is doing today is that, he is someone who is always seeking to be relevant. And right now to be relevant is to be close to the Republican President, to exert influence on him, and to be an ally of him.

And for Lindsey Graham that has meant that he is doing a lot of this work targeting the Bidens, targeting who could be president trump's main rival in 2020. He was part of a meeting with six senators and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone earlier this week where they were mapping out impeachment trial strategy and bringing Hunter Biden as a evidence before the Senate was definitely one of the topics that was discussed.

PAUL: All righty. Seung Min Kim, good to have you with us. Thank you. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton returns to twitter with a series of coy, mysterious tweets, including an accusation that the White House blocked his access to Twitter - to at least the account. How he claims it kept him from tweeting.

PAUL: Also, the Former Ambassador to New Zealand is weighing in on the impeachment investigation against President Trump and the 2020 race. She is with us just ahead.

And severe weather could impact millions of travelers this week as they head out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Do stay safe. Meteorologist, Allison Chinchar has your travel forecast.




JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you noticed, I have more people supporting me in the black community that have announced for me, because they know me, They know who i am. Three former Chairs of the black caucus, the only African-American woman that has ever been elected to the United States Senate, a whole range of people, a whole range of people. My point is--

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's not true. The other one is here.


BIDEN: Well, I said the first - I said African-American woman - first--


BLACKWELL: She smiled through the whole thing. I've been watching you in the preview monitor. That was Former Vice President Joe Biden during Wednesday night's debate referring to the support from my guest here. You see we have Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, Former Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa and former Representative representing the State of Illinois. Good morning to you, ambassador.


BLACKWELL: All right. So let's get this out of the way first. Obviously, the second black woman elected to the Senate on the stage, Kamala Harris. Are you concerned about these perceived stumbles that we're seeing from the former vice president?

BRAUN: You know what, for a long time i was the first and only, now I am just the first. So it was a slip, it is fine.

BLACKWELL: OK. Let's move on to something more substantive. We just a few moments ago reported on this new investigation launched by Senator Lindsey Graham into Former Vice President Joe Biden's dealings with Ukraine. What is your reaction to what we're seeing from Senate Republicans, namely Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham, looking into potentially the former vice president's interactions with Ukrainian officials?

BRAUN: It is called let's change the subject. The fact of the matter is that right and wrong is not Democrat or Republican. The fact of the matter is that this is - the impeachment inquiry, which is going on right now in the House Intelligence Committee, is about finding - trying to get to the truth.

And until such time as that inquiry is over and all of the documents have been released by the White House, all of the witnesses have been allowed to testify, until that happens, to talk about changing the subject and going after somebody's kids, is just further smoke screen around the truth.

And So I think that really the American people have to demand the truth, and that is - that's what this is supposed to be about, is getting to the truth.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the case that the Democrats put on and the witnesses - 12 witnesses they called over the last two weeks. We now know sources tell CNN that House Democrats could bring those articles of impeachment by Christmas. There are eight days on the House calendar between now and then.

And there's new reporting about the allegations of Devin Nunes meeting with the Ukrainian official, also the release of documents from the State Department of Pompeo speaking with Giuliani. the question here is are you concerned that Democrats are favoring moving this expeditiously, potentially at the expense of the larger scope, of having a comprehensive story? Is this a mistake to move it this quickly?


BRAUN: Well, you know, I'm not going to second guess Representative Schiff or Representative Pelosi, that's their call and their determination in terms of how this shall move and how fast it should move.

But, again, this is supposed to be a search for the truth. This is a search for the truth, and I just think that it should play itself out and we should get all of the information that we can get. The White House should cooperate more than they've been cooperating and provide all of the documents and the witnesses so we can get a full exposition of what actually transpired.

BLACKWELL: So you left the Senate days before the start of the Senate trial in the Clinton impeachment back in 1999. But in the prior fall you said this to "The Chicago Tribune, "We are all accountable in one way or another for our actions. There's going to be a lot of heartfelt discussions about precisely that point. What accountability is appropriate in these circumstances? The independent counsel believes it is impeachment. I don't know."

There seems to be no consideration in the President's party today of accountability or any wrong doing. What do you make of what you are seeing from Republicans over the last several weeks? And what we're hearing from Senators is, as this potentially will head to them?

BRAUN: Well, like I said, right and wrong is that Democrat or Republican? These are not partisan concepts. These are concepts of morality, concepts of the truth, getting to the truth, and I know the American people want the right thing. They want to do the right thing and they want our government to do the right thing.

And so I think as we continue to press forward on this examination - and that's really at the end of the day what it is - I think that's the important thing, is to make sure that we don't lose sight of the fact this is not a partisan exercise. It is not Democrat or Republican, and that republicans will step up and do the right thing and seek the truth and support the truth as they see it.

And they can - I mean everybody can tell, if it walks like a duck, et cetera, everybody can tell what the truth is in these situations and it's not that complicated a story.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ambassador Moseley Braun, always good to have you.

BRAUN: Thank you. Delighted to be here.

PAUL: All right. Still ahead, mistakes made but no top down bias. What sources are telling us about a report on how the FBI handled its investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign.



PAUL: Well, thanks for being with us. 26 minutes past the hour. And this morning we are learning that lawmakers got a classified briefing earlier this fall with this information. That Russian security services have been pushing the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. And what is more, it is part of the campaign of misinformation that's really gone on for years.

BLACKWELL: So this new disclosure, first reported by "The New York Times", closely following what former Trump Russian Advisor Fiona Hill said Thursday. Watch.


FIONA HILL, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL DIRECTOR: Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country and that perhaps somehow for some reason Ukraine did.

This is a fictional narrative. That has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves. The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our Democratic institutions in 2016. This is public conclusion of our intelligence agencies confirmed in bipartisan and congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.


PAUL: Also this morning, we know President Trump has routinely called the Mueller investigation into Russia meddling a political witch hunt.

BLACKWELL: Here's what sources tell CNN a lengthy review by the justice department's watchdog. Google (ph) revealed that President is wrong. CNN's Evan Perez has more.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department is investigating a former FBI lawyer who allegedly altered an internal document used to prepare the 2016 surveillance warrant application on a former Trump campaign advisor.

The altered document is among a number of mistakes that are expected to be cited in an upcoming report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Despite those mistakes, Horowitz is his report is expected to find that the court ordered surveillance of Carter Page was valid, and the report is also expected to conclude that the FBI properly opened investigation into connections between Trump campaign figures and Russians in 2016. But it's those mistakes, including the altered document that will

likely add fuel to criticisms of the FBI by President Trump and his allies. The low-level lawyer who allegedly altered the document is now the subject of a criminal investigation by John Durham, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to take another look at the intelligence used in the 2016 Trump Russia investigation.

The President has said that he and his campaign were illegally targeted by the Russia investigation. But the Horowitz, inspector general report, is not expected to support that claim by the President. Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Now the White House is denying it blocked Former National Security Advisor John Bolton from using his twitter account. Bolton is back on Twitter, now after more than two months off the platform. He claims the White House used software to block access to his account.

The White House Press Secretary is pushing back on that, suggesting his age may be to blame.


STEPHANIE GRISHAM, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't know a whole lot about it. But sometimes - I'll use my father as an example, somebody who is of an advanced age may not understand that all you have to do is contact Twitter and reset your password if you've forgotten it so I'll just leave it at that.


PAUL: The back and forth between Bolton and the White House comes after Bolton's lawyer says he has relevant information on Ukraine that's not been disclosed. Chris Whipple with us now. He is the author of "Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency." How, does John Bolton, Chris, define this one?


CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR, "THE GATEKEEPERS": Well, this is a juvenile spat as far as I'm concerned and I don't put much stock in anything Stephanie Grisham says. We've seen this White House lie about almost everything.

And think - but there's this kind of fascinating dance, I think, that's going on between the Trump White House and Bolton. It's hard to figure out what's going on. Trump could have taken a shot at him on Fox yesterday and he did not, which is a little bit unlike him, if it were that bitter.

But to me the really sad spectacle here is John Bolton. I think it's really kind of pathetic. He is doing this ridiculous striptease about what he knows. His lawyer is saying that he was in these important meetings and now he won't talk about them. He stands to cash in on a book without testifying before Congress. I think it's kind of outrageous, and I think he is a profile in cowardice at this point.

This is a guy who has always been a kind of right wing bomb thrower, but he used to have some integrity. And I think he needs to step up and tell the truth.

PAUL: So you think the chaos falls on Bolton? You think the chaos falls on Bolton here?

WHIPPLE: Well, there's plenty of chaos to go around, I mean, look - and plenty of profiles of cowardice, including Mick Mulvaney and Secretary Pompeo. At the heart of this, the buck ought to stop with the White House Chief of Staff. He should be out there testifying.

This is a guy - I was critical of his predecessors, Reince Priebus and John Kelly, but I have to say they're profiles in courage compared to this guy, Mulvaney, who should have walked into the oval office, closed the door and told the President, if you go anywhere near this drug deal, you're going to be will be impeached and I will resign.

But instead now he is now enabling Trump as Trump spouts this propaganda right out of Putin's playbook. So plenty of chaos to go around.

PAUL: Do you think that there is a plan? Is that the plan?

WHIPPLE: Is what the plan?

PAUL: Is that the plan you said that he is spouting off for the President?

WHIPPLE: Well, whether it is planned or not, the fascinating thing is that it is hard to know whether Donald Trump actually believes this tinfoil hat conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, but it is frightening.

Because as Fiona Hill demonstrated so powerfully, Donald Trump has now become a Russian asset. Willing or not, he is reading from Vladimir Putin's playbook. That's something that should concern everyone. That's an ongoing threat to our national security and it's one of the reasons why this impeachment is so serious.

PAUL: All right. We appreciate it so much. Chris Whipple, thank you for taking time for us this morning.

WHIPPLE: My pleasure.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, Michael Bloomberg just bought a ton of ad space. Big clue that he may be announcing for the run for President and the competition is not happy about it.



PAUL: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just made one big TV ad buy. So the question everybody is asking, does that mean he's in? Is he running for President?

BLACKWELL: Well, joining us now CNN Politics and Business Correspondent, Cristina Alesci.

Cristina, good morning to you. And who spends $29 million on TV time and then says, no, I'm not running?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS AND BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's definitely a sign he may jump into the race as soon as this week actually. But make no mistake about it. This is Michael Bloomberg flexing his financial fire power here. And based on everything I know in my reporting, this $29 million ad buy is just the beginning.

And it is going to draw some fire from especially progressive candidates in the race who don't want to see billionaires running, who say they are buying votes.

For example, Bernie Sanders reacting to this ad buy, saying in a statement, "I'm disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any other billionaire thinks he can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy our elections. It is just a latest example of a rigged political system that we're going to change when we're in the white house."

Now, Michael Bloomberg is making a political calculation that spending the money is going to benefit him more than the attacks will hurt him and three main reasons why. One, he's faced this criticism before when he ran for mayor. He spent his own money and guess what? He won three times.

In addition to that, after he left the mayor's office, he spent billions of dollars of his own money on very liberal causes like gun control and climate changed. That endeared him to the Democratic Party.

Thirdly, he is continuing to spend the money on the liberal causes at the same time he may be gearing up for a presidential campaign, making it clear to the Democratic Party that he is not going to abandon those causes as he runs potentially for President. For all of those reasons, Michael Bloomberg thinks that spending this kind of money is a political asset for him, not a disadvantage.

PAUL: So you mentioned Bernie Sanders' reaction. What about others?

ALESCI: Others are little bit more practical about it, because some other candidates have to go out and fund raise from large donors. There have been a number of candidates that have to go out. Joe Biden had some fundraising issues and now a super PAC has been formed to help support his candidacy.

Interestingly enough, Kamala Harris has responded to this as well. listen.


HARRIS: That's a lot of dough. You know, listen, we got to get money out of politics. Let me just be honest with you. I mean, I got to raise a ton of money to be competitive, and then there are billionaires who are either in the race or thinking about getting in the race, and it gives them a competitive advantage. Literally money gives people a competitive advantage.


ALESCI: Competitive advantage for sure. People are going to start seeing these Bloomberg ads as soon as Monday. It's going to go across potentially 100 markets. It's a huge ad buy and it is just the beginning. Back to you guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Cristina Alesci for us in New York. Cristina, thank you.

ALESCI: Of course.

PAUL: Here is some breaking news we want to get to you. We just had confirmation, Vice President Mike Pence surprise visit now. He is in - he is with troops in Iraq.


This is - as the country is reeling from those violent anti-government protests they've been seeing.


BLACKWELL: Yes, yesterday Iraqi security forces disbursed protesters on a bridge in Baghdad. Three people were killed, 26 others wounded. I mean, 300 have been killed, 15,000 injured since October as these protests have been going on.

Security for vice presidential or a presidential visit is always top concern, but of course, especially tense right now with the pictures we are seeing out of Baghdad. But, again, an unannounced trip by Vice President Mike Pence there to Iraq.

PAUL: We'll keep you apprised of what is happening there.


PAUL: Also still to come, swing voters in key battleground states are weighing in on the impeachment investigation. What do they say?



PAUL: 45 minutes past the hour. And we don't know yet if the impeachment hearings swayed Americans one way or the other, obviously, but no reporting from Axios shows some people are skeptical of the Democratic case.

So there's a pro-Trump group, maybe you heard of it, it's America First. They conducted focus groups in swing - key swing states, I should say, found suburban voters are unconvinced on impeachment.

Joining us Politics and White House Editor for "Axios", and CNN Political Analyst Margaret Talev.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning guys how are you?

PAUL: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: We're doing well. So how much credit should we give this finding, considering we prefaced it by saying it is a pro Trump group that's going out to do this focus group study?

TALEV: Yes I mean you should take that with a grain of salt. Although, it touches on various bits that we've been able to glean from other surveys around the country. I think the biggest caveat to keep in mind is that these surveys took place beginning in mid-October and running through last week.

So they really only touched on the first week of the public portion of the impeachment proceedings. You know those hearings, so they were underway while Marie Yovanovitch was speaking, for example, but not kind of the fireworks of the last few days. Sometimes it takes some time for public opinion to set in.

But having said that, the findings were rather striking, because they show that in this key group of people - these are people who regularly vote in presidential elections, but say that they are not yet decided about 2020, they just didn't get it a lot of the times. They were like it's hard to follow. We don't really understand what the threat is that the Democrats are pulling.

Or they got it they just didn't think it crossed the threshold for impeachment. They might even have said stuff like we don't like President Trump or we think that he's sexist or we disagree with the things that he says or we don't like that he tweets or we don't like the way he handled stuff with Ukraine.

But when I got to that pivotal question, which is, should this be an impeachable offense? Many of them didn't think so, many of them thought it's not going to work in the Senate anyway, and so it's a waste of taxpayer time and money.

And that's a cautionary tale that Nancy Pelosi already knew about that's what she was telling her caucus for months in advance impeachment is a bad idea. But it just shows that the really steep hurdle that Democrats are going to face with some of these voters who may be pivotal to the election result.

PAUL: I don't think we've said it yet, but just to clarify these are groups in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania - again those key battleground states. But talk about that - you are saying the distraction and the unease and exhaustion that some people are already feeling about 2020. How does that affect say the Democrats who don't even really have a really good focus on who is going to be standing there against President Trump? TALEV: Yes. What you just said right now is really pivotal, because some of the other surveys that are taking place right now and there's an NBC survey that comes to mind. But shows that, on some level, voters are already really baked in about what they want to do.

Almost half of America has said they're not going to vote for President Trump. A slightly lower number, somewhere in the 30s - high 30s is saying that they're planning on voting for President Trump again.

So you're looking at this margin of 15 or 20 percent of the electorate that really hasn't made up its mind yet. But almost all of them, almost all the people who haven't made up their mind are saying that it depends on who the next nominee is.

And so when you slice and dice that group what they're going to do depends on who the Democrats have to offer up against President Trump. That group also leans heavily male and heavily not college educated.

And so when you see groups like America First or the president kind of tailoring their message to swing voters, it is this really specific group of voters. They haven't made up their mind yet, but it really depends on who the nominee is. And many of them are predisposed demographically to lean toward the President, but they're just not there yet.

BLACKWELL: Yes. It is certainly easy to empathize with the people who - that say that there was just too much in the impeachment inquiry hearings. It is a full time job with a nice overtime check on top of it to watch those hearings day after day, hour after hour. Margaret Talev, thanks for breaking it down for us.

TALEV: Thanks guys.

PAUL: Thank you ma'am.

So if you look out your window, I don't know if you're seeing severe weather yet, but millions of you, especially if you're traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, it could be messy. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center with your holiday forecast in a moment.



BLACKWELL: All right. So pretty rough weather could impact millions of people hitting the roads this week for a Thanksgiving.

PAUL: Yes, Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here. Three big storms she is talking about. All right, just let us have it.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, All right. So the worst spots today, let's begin with this weekend, if you're trying to get a head start on your travel. The worst spots today really going to be kind of between say Georgia up through the Washington D.C. area. You can see a lot of those airports we highlighted Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh even D.C. and perhaps even Cincinnati. Those are likely going to be the worst spots.

Now let's fast forward to Sunday because it's that same system, just sliding even further up to the north and east. Now your concerns are mainly going to be Boston, New York maybe Concord even Providence. But also notice out to the west - that Pacific Northwest we're now starting to get that next system sliding in.

So even places like Seattle and Portland could also potentially have a little bit of rain. It's not going to be the heaviest rain. The heaviest rain really over the next couple of days is going to be focused in the eastern half of the country.

But then we fast forward to the next storm. That's the one that's coming up into the upcoming week. This is the one that's really going to not only impact a lot more cities, but could also potentially bring a lot more rain and yes even snow. So let's break it down.

Right here you're looking at Monday. If you have the ability to change your travel plans, Monday really looks like the best day for most of the country in terms of weather. We just start to see that next system in the west western half of the country really begin to take shape.

But following that storm as we transition into Tuesday, because it really starts to develop now over portions of the plains and into the Midwest. So that by Tuesday, now you're talking cities like Chicago and even stretching all the way down towards New Orleans where we're going to see some of the heaviest rain.


And on that western edge, yes, you could be looking at some snow for places like Kansas, Nebraska and even Iowa.

Now fast forward into Wednesday. Look at what we're dealing with here. Rain, snow, maybe some freezing rain, even some sleet for portions of the northeast. That's going to hit all of the big cities up there - New York, Boston, Portland, you're talking Hartford, again, even some areas around just north of Washington D.C. still looking at some lingering mess dealing with up there for travel.

But also we're talking about the southwest, because now that next system begins. We could be talking potentially very heavy rain, Christi and Victor, for places like L.A. Phoenix and Tucson. And again Wednesday afternoon in general is just a bad day to travel. Now you've got to factor in the weather on top of it.

PAUL: And that is true, Wednesday is not a time to travel regardless of what Mother Nature is doing. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Thank you. And thank you for starting your morning with us. We're back in one hour with "CNN NEWSROOM".