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Mulvaney Asked about Withholding Aid; Headaches for Thanksgiving Travelers; Bloomberg's Record as Mayor; Bloomberg Enters Race; Israeli PM Channels Trump. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 25, 2019 - 06:30   ET




RACHAEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think clean-up effort is a perfect way to describe it. Look, it's clear that the White House, after the whistleblower came forward and sort of talked to the inspector general, saw that this was problematic. I think they -- that this evidence that they did this investigation and saw all these emails shows that they needed to find some sort of justification for freezing aid to Ukraine that had nothing to do with the pressure on Ukraine for these investigations. And it turns -- it sounds like they turned up some pretty problematic emails.

Now, the question is, will we ever see those? And I think the answer, at least for the next few months, maybe even years is going to be no, because the White House has been stonewalling a whole bunch of subpoenas for this very type of information that Democrats want to see in their impeachment inquiry.

And I think it's just a reminder of how much we don't know, even after seeing these hearings for the past two weeks. You know, it's kind of like a puzzle and we're seeing sort of the pieces come together on the outside and closer to the middle, but there's still those pieces in the middle, and we don't know exactly what Mulvaney was doing, exactly what OMB was doing, and I just, you know, it's interesting to, again, remind us the things -- the questions that are still out there.

BERMAN: But Mulvaney knows, right? And those documents tell a story. So, as you point out, it's extraordinary that we are not going to see them in congressional investigators (INAUDIBLE).

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And Mulvaney's fingerprints are all over these emails.

And, Joe, what we're seeing from them is pressure from Mulvaney on the OMB to find at least an excuse temporarily to hold the money. We're also seeing that that was not the decision that the NSC and the State Department wanted with regards to the money. Talk about the frustration and what could lead from such inner agency disagreements.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we saw it in the top story today with Eddie Gallagher, that there seems to be kind of two governments, the vast government that works through an inner agency process and then the president who watches Fox News. So there is frustration.

But I think, you know, this story is interesting in a couple of grounds. The fact that this story leaked means the knives are out for Mick Mulvaney. This -- it made no -- it made no bones that Mulvaney is the person responsible. There's some chatter in Washington that White House Counsel Cipollone wants to become to the chief of staff, and he put that out.

But, you know, on the policy, the reason we may see some of these records is when White House advisers talk to each other, that's executive privilege. As soon as White House advisers start talking to agencies --


LOCKHART: Those are public records. So they're -- we are likely to see them. The timing is unclear of when we'll see them. But we'll see them a lot sooner than if they were just talking to each other.

BERMAN: Before Christmas seems likely though.


BERMAN: That's the thing.

All right, Rachael, another story. CNN broke this story Friday night at 9:00, which is that a lawyer for Lev Parnas, who is this guy who has been indicted for shady dealings involving Rudy Giuliani, this lawyer says that Devin Nunes was part of some kind of a meeting with this Ukrainian investigator who was fired and wants to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. That's the broad outline of that story. Devon Nunes, the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee who was leading the Republican efforts to battle back against impeachment, Devin Nunes was asked about this alleged meeting when he was on Fox this weekend and had fairly peculiar answers. So listen.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX ANCHOR: Bottom line, were you in Vienna with Shokin?

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): Yes, so, look, Maria, I really want to answer all of these questions and I promise you I absolutely will come back on the show and answer these questions. But because there is criminal activity here, we're working with the appropriate law enforcement agencies. We're going to file all this. But I think you can understand that I can't compete by trying to -- trying to debate this out with the public media --


NUNES: When 90 percent of the media are totally corrupt.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: That is -- that is not a no as far as I can tell.

GOLODRYGA: That's a long answer, yes.

BERMAN: It was a long answer, but it was not a no.

Rachael, what are the various considerations going on here and what are you hearing about this?

BADE: Yes, I mean, he's -- he's trying to say he's going to sue the media and so he can't answer the question. It's kind of like what, you know, the president's saying I can't release my tax return because I'm under audit or something like that. I mean clearly trying to divert attention.

Look, Nunes' credibility is pretty shot right now. As somebody who covered the hearings for the past two weeks, he's said a lot of false statements up there on the dias (ph). And so it is really interesting, you know, we've seen reports about some of his former aides being caught up in this Ukraine controversy. You know, privately, Republicans have sort of sidelined him without taking him off of the committee and keeping -- allowing him to keep his spot, they've actually been diverting their leadership toward Jim Jordan, who is on a -- well, he was put on this committee but he was the leader of the oversight panel.

And part of the reason they did that is because of this sort of problem they realized he had.


I don't know how much GOP leaders knew about his contact with Ukraine officials, but I know we've written about it, other publications have written about it, and Republicans privately were expressing concern that this, you know, really was a credibility problem with him and it makes sort of their defense of the president less credible.

GOLODRYGA: And aside from the conflict of interest, can I just make a side note as well, because if -- and that's a big if -- if this proves to be true, he was in Europe on taxpayers' dime, right? And so the big question is, why is this important for viewers at home? Taxpayers pay for these codel (ph) trips, right?

BERMAN: All right, Rachael, Joe, thank you very much. Great to have you on this morning.

Michael Bloomberg, he is in, officially running for president. His record as a New York City mayor now under scrutiny. We'll discuss, next.


GOLODRYGA: Winter storms could cause headaches for millions of people traveling this Thanksgiving week.

[06:40:00] CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has your forecast.

Good morning, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and I think you could change the word "could" to "will."

Good morning.

And today and tomorrow are great. Even early Wednesday for the northeast, very, very good, but we get this storm building in the Midwest, through Denver, Omaha, on up towards Chicago, and that will slow things down.

Getting you to tomorrow morning. Look at the amount of snow already coming down here. Now, the northeast gets a little bit of rain, but I don't think that's going to slow things down a lot just yet.

By Wednesday morning, the rain starts to sneak in. And by later on Wednesday night we start to slow down airports because of the wind across the northeast. Now, the west is going to be a mess for most of the travel season here. We're going to see a lot of snow. Everywhere you see the dark purple, that's a foot of snow or more. And some places are going to pick up two feet, so that's going to slow you down for sure. The northeast, though, really does begin to be the problem on the way back home. For your Saturday and for your Sunday, that's when things start to get really, really rainy, windy, and slowing down airports from Boston, all the way down to Atlanta, John.

BERMAN: So you're saying the house guests aren't going anywhere?

MYERS: Nope. Take Monday off, you might not get home.

BERMAN: All right. Appreciate it for having to make extra room. Thanks, Chad.

MYERS: All right. You got it.

BERMAN: So, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially running for president. He just spent at least $37 million on TV ads to launch his campaign. His record as a three-term mayor now under scrutiny.

CNN's Jason Carroll with that.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): New York City, not a place known for its shortage of opinions, and there are many when it comes to its former three-term mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg.


CARROLL: His 12-year record, a mixed scorecard. Supporters applaud him for improving quality of life, while critics say his policies disproportionately harmed people of color and the poor.

One of the most controversial aspects of his legacy, a policy called "stop and frisk," a practice of temporary stopping, questioning, and, at times, searching civilians. Earlier this year, Bloomberg saying the practice had helped reduce crime.

BLOOMBERG: Kids who walked around looking like they had a gun, removed the gun from their pockets to stop it. And the result of that was over the years the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year down to 300 a year when I left.

CARROLL: In 2012, murders in New York City fell to 419, making it at the time the safest big city in America. But at what price? Opponents of stop and frisk say it unfairly targeted the African-American and Latino communities where it is still a sensitive topic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean certainly stop and frisk was very controversial for me as a man of color.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was embarrassing to (INAUDIBLE) to black people and people with good job.

CARROLL: Now, after all these years, Bloomberg, the presidential candidate, has changed course and apologized for stop and frisk.

BLOOMBERG: I got something important really wrong -- I didn't understand that back then -- the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I now see that we could and should have acted sooner.

CARROLL: Too little, too late, so says New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio. Stop and frisk was discontinued in 2014 when he took office. Statistics show crime continued to drop even after he ended it. He called Bloomberg's apology an attempt to score political points.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): People aren't stupid. Like, they can figure out whether someone is honestly addressing on issue or whether they're acting out of convenience.

CARROLL: There are Bloomberg critics who credit him for how he handled the city's economy during his tenure. In 2002, when he first took office, New York was in a recession, still reeling from the September 11th terror attacks. By the end of his terms, Bloomberg was applauded for getting the city back on its feet, rebuilding once discarded sections of New York, pieces like the waterfronts in Brooklyn and Queens. Incomes for the wealthiest New Yorkers rose quickly coming out of the recession, giving rise to greater income inequality. But on the whole, the city's recovery was robust.

ELEANOR RANDOLPH, AUTHOR, "THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG": There's some areas that he does deserves really high marks. The economy is one of them.

CARROLL: Eleanor Randolph is the author of the biography, "The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg."

RANDOLPH: He handed the next mayor a balanced budget with plenty of money to spare.

CARROLL: Bloomberg's legacy is also one of a mayor who wanted the city that never sleeps to get healthy. He built bike lanes, banned smoking in public places, banned trans fats, and required calorie listings in chain restaurants, but he failed at prohibiting large sugary drinks, such as big gulp sodas.

His actions prompted some to accuse him of trying to turn New York into a so-called nanny state.

RANDOLPH: North Carolina and Mississippi, they passed law -- what they called anti-Bloomberg laws so that local governments could not limit the amount of Coca-Cola you could get.


CARROLL: Bloomberg's achievements, and failures, now debated on the national stage.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


GOLODRYGA: So we can officially add another candidate to the list of people running for president.

All right, a star-studded mock presidential debate on "Saturday Night Live."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's my plan for health care. No copay. No out of pocket. The only thing that comes out of my pocket are tissues, receipts, loose cough drops.


GOLODRYGA: He's so good. We bring you the "Late Night Laughs" coming up next.


GOLODRYGA: Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and multibillionaire officially entering the 2020 presidential race. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He could have just been the middle class kid who make good. And Mike Bloomberg became the guy who did good. And now he's taking on him. To rebuild a country and restore faith in the dream that defines us. Where the wealthy will pay more in taxes and the middle class get their fair share. And on all those things, Mike Bloomberg intends to make good, jobs creator, leader, problem solver. Mike Bloomberg for president.


GOLODRYGA: Joining us now, CNN political commentator Andrew Gillum. He's the former mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, and was the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida.

Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for coming on this morning.

ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning. Good morning. Happy Thanksgiving week.

GOLODRYGA: Happy Thanksgiving week. It's gone by so quickly now.

So as a former mayor --


GOLODRYGA: Talk about the strategy and the pathway, if you see one at all, for Bloomberg.

GILLUM: Yes. Well, first, we have to acknowledge that although Michael Bloomberg is a billionaire, he also is a three-term mayor of a major American city.


GILLUM: Which, as you showed in the clip earlier, will be a bit of a mixed bag for him. While there may be some accomplishments, particularly on the economic ring, there are going to be some real downfalls to his record. Stop and frisk, in spite of his apology, strikes really, really deep. And not just for New Yorkers, but around the country. You have to understand the level of intimidation that people of color feel in communities all across this country.


Whether they're New Yorkers or not, they're going to be able to relate to that policy. And I think they're going to hold the mayor accountable for that.

One other good thing I will say about Mayor Bloomberg is, I was at the 2016 Democratic Convention and Michael Bloomberg probably delivered one of the best Trump takedowns that I had heard throughout the length of that convention. If he can get out there and again do that through the course of this race, there may be something interesting there. But that all remains to be seen.

GOLODRYGA: And there's no denying that he put his money to good use in many respects, right?


GOLODRYGA: And for a lot of agendas there.

But in terms of -- and you touched on this -- the African-American vote in particular, we played a clip of his comments in front of a black church here in New York City. Was that enough? GILLUM: Yes, most people would say, especially considering that we

understood him to be thinking about a race for president in 2016, why so late on that apology? I mean you're talking about three terms as mayor. The impact, particularly on black and brown people, it is not going to go over that easily. The mayor's going to have to do some real damage control.

And you raise a good point, it raises a question, what is going to be Michael Bloomberg's path to victory? Biden, obviously, continues to enjoy such support, largely because of the support in the African- American community. If there's a candidate to disrupt that, it's going to be really difficult to see Michael Bloomberg being the one to disrupt that support.

BERMAN: And I think, full disclosure, Michael Bloomberg is nowhere in the polls right now.


BERMAN: He's getting this much attention because of his bank account, not because of the number where he's registering nationally in the polls right now. Which leads me to question about what he wants and what he's doing in these ads. There are some people wondering, is he really just running to spend money to take down the president, or is he trying to win? So when we played that ad for you before, it was interesting to me that it spent so much time on the Michael Bloomberg biography.


BERMAN: Because there are a lot of Democrats who just wish he'd throw the money on anti-Trump stuff.

GILLUM: For sure. And on attacking voter disenfranchisement --

BERMAN: Right.

GILLUM: Registering voters.

BERMAN: He says he's spending a lot of money on that. He says, what $20 million on that?

GILLUM: And, by the way, he did -- he did announce that, which I think is a good thing. The question -- well, first of all, I think Michael Bloomberg is running to win the Democratic nomination. The challenge he'll have is that, while his money would allow him to put up ads in many of the Super Tuesday states, he won't be on a debate stage. He's not taking money. He's not taking contributions from individuals, which means he won't ever meet the criteria for that.

The other thing is, is, skipping over the first four primary states is hugely problematic. I think that the team underestimates the energy, the inertia, the publicity that comes with the folks who will win those early states. So the fact that he will be out of the conversation for a good month of the presidential preference primary I think is going to be extremely challenging in spite of the resources. GOLODRYGA: A big gamble.

BERMAN: All right, he did make one debate stage though, which is the "Saturday Night Live" debate stage this week.

GILLUM: Oh, God.

BERMAN: Which we're going to play, and I want to analyze it in a very serious way because it was seriously funny.

Watch this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to worry about the polling numbers. I'm just going to have fun and see if I can get some viral moments. Momma need a gif. Going to tell my kid this was Michelle Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sad thing is, you're not listening to a word I'm saying because you're just watching my hair dance on my forehead. Excuse me, my eyes are down here, not up here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hearings have made it clear, Donald Trump doesn't want me to be the nominee. Vladimir Putin doesn't want me to be the nominee. Nobody in America wants me to be the nominee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Bloomberg, how did you get in here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I tipped the doorman $30 million.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does this mean you're officially running for president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I don't know, maybe, maybe not. I'd be hard to beat. I'd love to see those Trump supporters come up with a conspiracy theory about a Jewish billionaire with his own media company.


BERMAN: And, of course, there is Larry David as Bernie Sanders.


GILLUM: Right.

BERMAN: I mean this was really --

GILLUM: Yes, that's good.

GOLODRYGA: An embarrassment of riches, yes.

BERMAN: The best of the best there.

GILLUM: That's good. And they didn't have to exaggerate, right? I mean those are -- if you looked at any of the debates, those are actual moments that actually, you know, tended to take place.

Listen, the beauty of I think the Democratic electorate is, is that this is a dynamic field. Bloomberg does offer something to a constituency out there. The question is, is, will there be a large enough constituency to help them through this? Clearly Biden is resilient. My mother is one just example. She doesn't think Joe Biden won any debate he's been in so far, yet she's not moving.


GILLUM: She is a Joe Biden supporter. And, I -- you know, good luck being able to wean her away from it.

And so back to this question of, where does the constituency come from to help Michael Bloomberg in spite of his, you know, multimillion- dollar effort here, gaining (ph) his Democratic nomination.


GOLODRYGA: Did you notice that big gulp?

BERMAN: Yes, the big gulp was fantastic.



BERMAN: The Biden thing with your mother is fascinating, because I think it's one of the most under covered aspects of this campaign, which is the Biden implosion which everyone has waited for and has predicted.

GILLUM: Predicted.

BERMAN: Hasn't happened.

GOLODRYGA: Hasn't happened.

GILLUM: No, it hasn't. First of all, he looks like he's Teflon through a lot of these things. He got attacked, came back, the poll numbers went up. And the truth is, I think people feel like they know him. It remains to be seen whether or not he's in a position to take this thing all the way. Clearly Michael Bloomberg thinks that there's an opening for someone like him on the moderate side of this thing. But I trust Democratic voters, that we're going to end up selecting the right person who's going to beat Donald Trump in November.

GOLODRYGA: Give Momma Gillum our best.

GILLUM: I will indeed.

GOLODRYGA: Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

GILLUM: My sample group of one.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. It's an important one, right. BERMAN: The most important one.

GILLUM: Indeed. Indeed.

BERMAN: The most important one.

BERMAN: All right, thanks, mayor.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

BERMAN: Appreciate it.

GILLUM: Of course.

BERMAN: So, indicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be channeling someone you've all heard of, President Trump. He calls bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges against him an attempted coup. The prime minister is also questioning the integrity of prosecutors and the media.

CNN's Paula Newton live in Jerusalem with the latest on this.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, has quite a ring to it, doesn't it? We've heard that before. And yet another political bombshell from here this morning. Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to actually have a primary in his party, something he didn't have to do. John, you can call it a preemptive strike, maybe another page from the Trump strategy book, and a never surrender kind of attitude. Have a listen here.


NEWTON (voice over): When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defiantly denounced the criminal indictment against him --

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We are witnessing an attempted coup against a serving prime minister.

NEWTON: It was as if there was an echo in the room.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was a -- an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president.

NEWTON: There was no mistaking it.

NETANYAHU: In this poisoned process, they never look for the truth, they look for me.

TRUMP: This was an illegal witch hunt and everybody knew it.

NEWTON: This is neither coincidental nor superficial. It's not just President Trump's words that Netanyahu is borrowing but his tactics.

TRUMP: We can never, ever let this happen to another president again. NEWTON: Netanyahu is fighting back Trump style, alleging his rivals on

the left and the so-called crooked media of inspiring a baseless prosecution against him. Sound familiar?

TRUMP: We fight back. And you know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was. It was a scam.

NEWTON: Netanyahu, the iconic political survivor, is punching back in an unprecedented way in Israel, questioning the integrity of some prosecutors and police.

NETANYAHU: I won't let the lie win. I'll continue to lead according to the law.

NEWTON: And with that comeback, some Israelis fear it's the country's democratic integrity that he's putting at risk.

NEWTON (on camera): How do you feel about the state of Israeli politics right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a mess. It's a mess.

NEWTON (voice over): That may be indisputable. After two inconclusive elections, Israel may be headed for an historic third with voters sharply divided on who should be the next prime minister. There is ambivalence, though, among many about forcing Netanyahu to step down, especially if his party, Likud, continues to support him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the important thing here. It's what the Likud will do and how they will decide to have a new leader or step down.

NEWTON: To mitigate that, Netanyahu is even planning Trump-style rallies.

TRUMP: Impeachment witch hunt. Now we go again.

NEWTON: Netanyahu nicknamed the magician for his impeccable political instincts is now channeling his devoted ally --

TRUMP: It's a witch hunt.

NEWTON: President Trump and hoping it will work.


NEWTON: John, make no mistake, hearing is believing. This is the game plan. And as I said, the first rally will be on Tuesday. Netanyahu betting that he can beat this and it means staying as prime minister.

Again, I cannot underscore enough the political confusion going on right now when we could be headed to a third set of elections here in Israel and still no conclusive decision.

BERMAN: That would be unprecedented, but easy to see what Netanyahu is trying to do, but equally fascinating this morning he faces a very serious rift within his own party.

Paula Newton, thanks so much for being with us.

BERMAN: Meanwhile, here in the United States, President Trump in the middle of chaos and division created by President Trump with the U.S. military.

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could have taken my trident at any time they wanted. Now they're trying to take it after the president restored my rank.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Navy Secretary Richard Spencer forced to resign for going outside the chain of command.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Good order, morale and discipline in the armed services have to transcend politics.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: "The Washington Post" reports that an internal review shows an extensive effort by the White House to justify President Trump's decision to block Ukraine aid.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Office of Management and Budget is denying that anything improper took place.