Return to Transcripts main page


Democrats Consider Mueller Report for Articles of Impeachment & If Will Finish by Year End; Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) Discusses Impeachment; U.S./China Trade War Leaves Farmers on Edge; Uber Reveals Nearly 6,000 Reports of Sexual Assault. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired December 6, 2019 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: There are two big questions facing House Democrats right now as they prepare for a historic vote of impeaching the president. The first, whether to keep the articles of impeachment focused on Ukraine, and Ukraine only, or to add in allegations from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

When asked last night if she wants to see the Mueller findings included, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn't say, only stressing that it's not really only up to her. Listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It's not going to be somebody puts something on the table. We have our own, shall we say, communication with each other.

We're not writing the articles of impeachment here tonight.


BOLDUAN: So there's that.


The second big question is, can and will this wrap up by the end of the year, meaning the end of the month.

Joining me now is a Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, of Illinois. He sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which led the investigation until this week.

Congressman, thanks for coming in.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): Sure, thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Let's go through these two questions on the charges. Do you want to see evidence from the Mueller report included in articles of impeachment in addition to Ukraine? KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, obviously, the Judiciary Committee is going to

lead this process and I'll defer to how they structure this to some extent.

I think we want to stress maximum clarity within the articles. If you add the Mueller report, you have to explain more events. You have to talk about more witnesses and so forth. So I think that's more of a factual statement. I'm in favor of maximum clarity in the articles.

BOLDUAN: I'm thinking, for the sake of maximum clarity, I see you're leaning more towards the keep it to Ukraine rather than adding in the Mueller because this highlights the spot that some Democrats in specifically Trump one districts that they find themselves, in a tough spot when it comes to how to vote on articles of impeachment, especially depending on what the scope of the charges.

Let me read you what one of those members said yesterday because he says he's a no vote on impeachment, still saying it doesn't -- nothing that he's seen rises to the level and adds this warning to Democrats: "Be careful what you wish for. An impeachment is tearing the nation apart."

How is he wrong? If you haven't convinced him, a Democrat in the House, are you concerned?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I think this is definitely issue as a matter of conscious that people are going to vote on. And I don't think that I'm not going to try to impose my views on anyone else.

The way I see it, Kate, is that impeachment does divide the country. In my own constituency, we have measured the metrics in terms of, you know, how many e-mails, phone calls, letters we receive in favor of the process going forward right now. And it's overwhelmingly in favor of continuing with the proceedings that are happening right now.

That being said, I think every district is different and certainly this is going to be an issue that is -- people are going to fall on different sides of for sure.


And the other big question is the timeline here. I mean what's really been discussed is there would be a full House vote before Christmas or the end of the year. If that just say if that vote, in the vote in the full House doesn't happen by then, what happens, Congressman?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I don't know. I'm not aware of any calendar or deadlines for any of the steps that are happening going forward.


KRISHNAMOORTHI: What we know are these are the steps that have to happen if anything. Which is the Judiciary Committee will consider our evidence, decide whether to go on with articles of impeachment, then the Judiciary Committee will vote on those then full House would vote on those if the committee passes those articles. I don't think there should be any artificial deadlines except I think

we have to just wrap things up as quickly as possible if for no other reason than there's ongoing wrongdoing in the White House today with regard to our Ukraine foreign policy and potentially the foreign policy of other countries, too.

BOLDUAN: Are you by chance talking about Rudy Giuliani heading back over to Ukraine?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I have no idea why he's going to Ukraine, again. But I can bet you based on all the testimony we heard he's not up to a will the of good and it's not in the best interest of the country. Maybe in the best of his clients and those are two different things.

BOLDUAN: Let's see if they converge as things are about to come to a head at least in the House.

Congressman, thank you for coming in. I appreciate it.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you. Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: Let's see what happens in the next 12 hours.


Coming up, the trade war for China drags on. Donald Trump has promised farmers they would be the big winners of his fight there. What are farmers saying now in one of the states key to Trump's 2016 win? We'll go there.


BOLDUAN: We're going to zero right now on November that jobs report showing better than expected numbers.. The Labor Department saying this morning 266,000 jobs were added last month. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, which is matching the 50-year low in September. A good report.

But while hiring is up, not everyone is celebrating. American farmers continue to take a huge hit from the ongoing trade war with China. So what does it mean for the future, like the 2020 future in the presidential election?

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich went to Pennsylvania, a key state, to find out.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Bill Boyd has been farming all his life. He grew up on this dairy farm in Pennsylvania.

(on camera): Is the dairy business profitable?


BILL BOYD, PENNSYLVANIA FARMER: Just like everything else in agriculture right now, barely profitable.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Made more so, he says, by the trade war.

(on camera): What are your thoughts on the trade war? Good idea? Bad idea?

BOYD: Oh, no, it was a bad idea.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Boyd, a Republican, voted for President Trump but doesn't support the president's tactics with China.

(on camera): How big of a hit has that loss of the China market been to you?

BOYD: Cost the farmers here $2 a bushel.

YURKEVICH: Is that a lot?

BOYD: Yes, that's a -- that's the profit.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Pennsylvania will be a key state in the 2020 election. It helped elect President Trump in 2016, who campaigned here on promises made to farmers like Boyd.

BOYD: I think he's sort of backstabbing the main people who got him into office in the Midwest. All those Midwest states helped to vote him in and also Pennsylvania. And he just left us down.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Will you vote for him again in 2020?

BOYD: Unless they come up with a better alternative, I'm going to vote for him again.

YURKEVICH (voice over): The president still trying to close a phase one trade deal with China, which could restart big buying of U.S. ag products, lifting prices. It's a lifeline for farmers like Jesse Poliskiewicz.

JESSE POLISKIEWICZ, PENNSYLVANIA FARMER: There was talks about a month ago that they were -- they were supposed to be opening back up. And I have not seen -- I have seen prices go down. I have not seen prices go up.

YURKEVICH: Poliskiewicz, a Democrat, voted for Obama and then flipped to Trump, just like North Hampton County here in Pennsylvania.

POLISKIEWICZ: Right now, I would not vote for him. I don't know who I'm going to vote for. I don't -- I don't see a good candidate.

YURKEVICH (on camera): On either side?

POLISKIEWICZ: On either side, in my opinion.

YURKEVICH (voice over): In Breinigsville, Kyle Henninger's fields are harvested, but his soybeans sit unsold.

KYLE HENNINGER, PENNSYLVANIA FARMER: The first time I ever had beans in here in my life.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Oh.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Henninger voted for President Trump and supports the trade war.

HENNINGER: There's the corn. That's your paycheck right there.

YURKEVICH: Every morning, Henninger checks crop prices.

HENNINGER: Down here is soybeans.

YURKEVICH: Hoping to find a buyer for his beans.

(on camera): How long are you willing to be patient and wait out this trade war?

HENNINGER: Other than saying I'm not going to vote for Trump, you know, that would be one way to retaliate personally. But I don't want to see that at this point.


YURKEVICH: Now the president will need all of his base here in Pennsylvania to turn out in 2020 in order for him to win this state. In 2016, the president won by such a slim margin, just 44,000 votes.

And, Kate, the Trump administration has provided federal assistance for farmers affected by this trade war. However, if this drags into 2020, farmers are going to be looking for that money once again.

But as of right now, Kate, we have not heard from the administration that they are going to be promising any more federal assistance come next year -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Vanessa, such an important look on the ground. And I've also heard from farmers, they don't want handouts, that kind of assistance. They want the market back to be able to sell their product. What they want and that's what the trade war gets to.

Great to see you, Vanessa. Thank you for your report.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, another very different report. A new report on the safety of Uber. The popular ride share company now revealing an astonishing number of reports of sexual assault, even rape, from customers. What is Uber saying about this? More importantly, doing about this?

We'll be right back.


[11:50:02] BOLDUAN: So one of my favorite events of the year has finally arrived, the "CNN HEROES All-Star Tribute." It, of course, salutes 10 amazing, amazing humans. The all-star gala airs this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Take a little look.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: There's a saying in Ethiopia: People are medicine for people.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: What we do here is provide food, clothing and shelter, and a whole lot of love.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: To give children a place to mourn their loss and tell their story.

ANNOUNCER: They're the best the world has to offer.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: We're going to start a program and we're going to help people.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: I'm feeling the love.

ANNOUNCER: They're heroes today and every day.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: I think we must talk less and do action more.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Video games are an incredible source of relief during difficult times.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: We purchased R.V.s for families when they lost their home in the fire.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Many kids come to us traumatized. I just want to see them happy.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: It impacts those who don't feel they have a voice.

ANNOUNCER: Join Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa live as they name the 2019 "CNN Hero" of the year.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR & CNN HOST, "A.C. 360" & CNN HEROES HOST: Our heroes are incredible people.

KELLY RIPA, CNN HEROES HOST: their work and they're stories will inspire you tonight.

ANNOUNCER: "CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" December 8th at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: Draw dropping and really disturbing numbers coming from the Uber's new safety report. The ride-sharing app revealing nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. Among those, nearly 500 allegations of rape.

The report comes after a CNN investigation that found at least 100 Uber drivers in the United States had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers.

CNN's Drew Griffin led that CNN investigation.

It was key in what we're talking about today, Drew. The numbers are shocking. Even more so, they account for only those reported from riders.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: And remember, Kate, that investigation that we did two years ago now also exposed the fact that Uber was trying to cover up this problem by forcing victims to sign nondisclosure agreements for out-of-court settlements.

That was the investigation that led to this pledge for of an accounting of what was happening in the back seats of Uber. But now we have the numbers with which we have been talking about with sources for the better part of two years now.

Look at the numbers. It really is incredible. Over the last two years, they're saying they have 5,981 sexual assaults, and 464 of those are actual rapes.

They, of course, are trying to be as transparent as possible. But they've been counting these numbers and promising these numbers for the better part of a year now. And it all comes out, I would say, conveniently after that Uber IPO that we had earlier this year.

BOLDUAN: There are coincidences and things like that.

Drew, Uber has added a lot of features, we must say -- they put a lot of focus on trying to improve safety. What are you seeing in that?

GRIFFIN: Some of them work. Obviously, there are some ways, you know your driver, you know their license plate. They have guides for checking who is your driver.


But the basic problem with Uber still remains. The controls of who is driving your ride are very loose.

We've seen this over and over again. The city of London just revoked Uber's license because of this very issue. Uber does not really know who is behind the wheel. And I don't see that being fixed.

BOLDUAN: But ride share apps are part of almost everyone's lives these days, so you also have that.

Great to see you, Drew. We'll be right back.