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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Attorney: Trump Caught On Tape Demanding Ambassador Firing; Trump Attorney: Defense Team Will Focus On Biden, Burisma; Impeachment Sidelines 2020 Dems Ahead Of Iowa Caucuses; Sanders Fires Back At Clinton After She Said Nobody Likes Him; Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) Is Interviewed About Whether The Defense Team For Trump's Impeachment Trial Might Want To Hear From New Witnesses; Mike Pompeo Erupts At Reporter Over Ukraine. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired January 25, 2020 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:00:00]

MARK HERTLING, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY, INTELLIGENCE AND TERRORISM ANALYST: But what I'll tell you, having experienced an explosion myself and seeing hundreds of my soldiers in Iraq, have repercussions from these kinds of injuries.

The Veterans of Foreign Affairs now know -- excuse me, the Veterans of Foreign Wars now know how serious these kinds of wounds are and it truly is the agent orange of this generation.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's been something we've been dealing with now for decades, which is why I think they were so upset.

General Hertling, Dr. Gupta, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

HERTLING: Thanks.

BERMAN: The president's defense team lays out their case in just minutes. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democratic impeachment managers finish their opening arguments in the Senate trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The obstruction of Congress is real, and it's beyond comparison. This president should be removed.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They've been telling so many lies. This is not impeachable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A piece of tape that appears to have a conversation between the president and Lev Parnas.

TRUMP: Take her out. Do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lev Parnas has come forward and said that you knew everything that he was doing. TRUMP: He's a con man. Let me answer that one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. That's not true?

TRUMP: I don't know him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Parnas has not just been blowing smoke. It would be truly a miscarriage of justice if the Senate shows no interest in what he has to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And this morning, there is new evidence, new evidence that sure seems central to the impeachment trial of President Trump. A new audiotape just revealed from 2018 where President Trump can be heard calling for the firing of then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

It is said to be a conversation with indicted Rudy Giuliani associates, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas and the president that is the same Lev Parnas the president claims not to know.

TRUMP: Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out, OK? Do it.

BERMAN: This seems like evidence that bolsters the claims that Parnas is making in public recently and it seems to indicate that the president is lying when he says he doesn't know him.

The attorney for Parnas says there's more than just that. An hour's worth of audio. We will play you more of what has been released just ahead.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, would any Republican senators like to hear more of this new audio, or any other evidence, and/or any witnesses who have been blocked by the White House? Well, this morning, we will see how President Trump's legal team will defend his behavior and the blocking of witnesses.

Joining us now to talk about all of this, "EARLY START" anchor, Laura Jarrett. Margaret Talev, CNN political analyst and politics and White House editor at Axios. And Joe Lockhart, CNN political commentator, he President Clinton's press secretary during that impeachment.

This new audio, you know, as we say, it seems like many mornings here, well, new evidence continues to come out. And we wake up, and there is new evidence. And this one seems important. This one is a conversation, we're told, it's an hour and a half long it happened -- it's about Marie Yovanovitch. You can see, even hear in it that the president appears to be irate when Lev Parnas tells him that she wants to see him impeached. We don't know that that's true. Lev Parnas might have been making that up for an effect. But let's listen.

BERMAN: In fact, there's been testimony to the contrary of that. There's been direct testimony refuting that Ambassador Yovanovitch ever said anything like that. So, we can make that up --

CAMEROTA: I'm glad you said that because Lev Parnas had an agenda. Lev Parnas wanted her gone because Lev Parnas was doing allegedly corrupt things. So, let's listen to a little bit more of this new audiotape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEV PARNAS, ASSOCIATE OF RUDY GIULIANI: The biggest problem there I think where we need to start is we've got to get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration.

TRUMP: Were the ambassador (BLEEP).

PARNAS: Basically, walk around telling everybody, wait, he's going to get impeached. Just wait.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? It's incredible.

TRUMP: Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Take her out, OK, do it. Laura, legally speaking, as a lawyer, would you like to have this new evidence as part of your trial?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. I would like this in a lot more. The "get her out" obviously should be shocking. This is how he's talking about a career diplomat to these two people that Giuliani has deputized to do his bidding, fixers in the Ukraine.

But I think the most important part of that ABC reporting is that these tapes are now in the hands of the southern district of New York. We don't know what else they have. They're still -- you know, they're still in the beginning of their investigation as far as we understand. We only have the slightest glimpse now into a little bit of this evidence. But there can be way more.

And, of course, it does bolster, you know, we had questions about Parnas, and there are still questions, aplenty about his credibility. But it does bolster this idea that he did have conversations with the president. And that the other associate, Igor Fruman is the one who actually recorded it. So, is he cooperating with prosecutors? It just raises so many more questions about the extent of this.

[07:05:11]

BERMAN: And the president is on trial for matters that pertain directly to this. And, Margaret, we are only just hearing this now. I can make an argument that because the president's talking about the removal of Marie Yovanovitch a year before Joe Biden even enters the race that it's not necessarily directly related to Joe Biden. Maybe that helps the president. But it's evidence, and it's new evidence. And it paints the president as a liar about how well he knows Lev Parnas or his contacts with him. And it indicates that maybe there's more out there, more that is there for the taking if the Senate wanted it.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, John, I think that it certainly shows that when the president is saying, I don't know this guy, I've never heard of this guy, I meet a lot of people in photo lines and stuff, that that's just not borne out by the facts. And this is proof of it.

And so it certainly undercuts the president's credibility with any denials he makes. But it also gives some credibility to Lev Parnas who I think everyone here can acknowledge like his credibility is not a guarantee. There are a lot of questions about what areas he's trustworthy.

But to the extent that this corroborates, seems to corroborate a lot of the sort of points that he and his lawyers have been making and wanting to get out there, it simultaneously hurts the president's credibility and increases Lev Parnas' credibility.

But what does that mean in the context we're currently in for the impeachment trial? At this point does not appear to meet a whole lot. We'll see the Republican senators, that pivotal group of four senators, deciding officially on whether to allow new witnesses. It doesn't seem at this point like this has changed the equation or thinking on that. It certainly looks like Democrats will fall short of that.

And it doesn't seem that the release of that audio has changed Republicans' mind about the question of impeachment. So politically for the voters in terms of public perception, this puts new information out there. But in terms of the impeachment trial itself, there's just no evidence that it is going to fundamentally change the outcome on these votes.

CAMEROTA: I think that also what it shows, John, is that the Ukraine scandal was never all about the Bidens. It wasn't, as we know, it was about CrowdStrike, it was about Hillary Clinton, it was about the DNC, it's about the server, it's about the fact that somehow Rudy Giuliani -- and this is from all of the testimony. I'm not just connecting dots that don't exist. Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani were trying to poison the well in President Trump's head about what Ukraine did. And you hear it play out there. It wasn't all about the Bidens.

It's all one big mish mash where President Trump -- and he said this on the call, the July 25th call, if you read the transcript. He feels wronged by Ukraine. It's about protecting Russia. That's one of the agendas of Lev Parnas, protecting Russia.

So, it's all one big mish mash that it's Ukraine's fault, none of this is Russia's fault, and you hear those seeds being planted right there. How could this not be relevant to the fact that there's a trial ongoing about what the president did with Ukraine?

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, of course it's relevant. It's directly relevant. And this -- and as Laura said, there's much more that's relevant that we will likely not see in a timely way. We'll see it, but not in a timely way for the Senate trial.

You know, this is serious. When you have the president on tape, it brings reality to it. It is no longer just he said-she said. One lawyer says -- it's a -- it's now a fact because, you know -- and it's not just like something out of context. It's an hour and a half of the president talking about these things.

And I think what it does, among other things is underscore just the lack of seriousness on the Republican Party. They have -- they -- every single day, they get something like this, and every single day, they find something else to talk about. Like, oh, my God, he just said something about -- something from CBS News, and you know, a -- the most stirring thing I've seen on the floor of the Senate or the House, probably in a decade, and all they can talk about is one lie.

But here's why the other reason I think it's serious. What I think we don't know is who else was in the room. Who was he talking to when he said "take her out?" Was he talking to two corrupt Ukrainian businesspeople? Was he talking to his staff? Who else was in the room --

CAMEROTA: John Avalon hears Rudy Giuliani's laugh on that --

LOCKHART: Yes. But look, but that's...

BERMAN: There's an answer to this. This is not an unknown. The president says -- the president's claiming to take for where he says he was probably talking to Rudy Giuliani.

Lev Parnas has said in interviews he was talking to John DeStefano and he said that Giuliani was in the room. We know who was in the room there, right? So, you know...

CAMEROTA: But I think that's relevant, who's doing that bidding? What does that mean...

LOCKHART: That's what I mean. It's not -- it's who was he directing.

BERMAN: Parnas says DeStefano. Parnas says DeStefano.

[07:10:01]

LOCKHART: Well, you know, the second thing we know is this had been going on a lot longer than we thought. And you're right, it had nothing to do with the Bidens. That became a post-hoc recording of Adam Schiff rationalization of all of this.

But you can see that this is part of the overall conspiracy to put the president's personal interests, the president's grievance, which is all what his politics is all about, you know, ahead of our national security. And what he did, starting in 2018, was undermine our national security and undermine Ukraine's national security for well over a year based on what Rudy Giuliani and a couple of indicted businessmen who are making money pro-Russian -- from pro-Russian oligarchs. This is pervasive corruption and Republicans are going to raise their hands and say, but what about that CBS thing?

BERMAN: Listen, I don't think that Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone are going to bring up this tape. When they start presenting their defense this morning, they will start presenting that defense in just a few hours. So, let's talk about that a little bit, Laura.

Because Jay Sekulow has -- first of all, he's told us, today, it's just going to be an appetizer.

JARRETT: This is just the trailer.

BERMAN: A preview of coming events, because the president is so upset about the idea they're doing on a Saturday which he calls Death Valley in television. But Jay Sekulow does say that there will be a focus on the Bidens. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY SEKULOW, OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: For the life of me -- they've done it. And why they opened up the door as wide as a double door on the Hunter Biden-Joe Biden-Burisma issue, I guess they figured that was their way of getting ahead of it. We will address it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: The idea that they weren't going to say a peep about the Bidens, were it not for the House Democrats opening the door to that, I think is just a little less than disingenuous.

But, you know, look, they're going to throw up as much muck as they can about the Bidens. And I think the timing here is so critical. We are nine days away from the Iowa caucuses. That cannot be lost on anyone. Joe Biden is not the frontrunner in Iowa. Now, he is the frontrunner in national polls, but in Iowa, he's not.

And I just wonder if there's enough voters out there who say, you know what? I'm not sure that he did anything wrong. But do I really want to hear about Hunter Biden and the Ukraine affair for the next nine months? Is that really what we want to do after 2016 and Hillary Clinton? Is that a risk that I'm willing to take?

Even if he didn't do anything wrong, even if there's no evidence that suggests that there was anything corrupt there, is that really the drumbeat that we want to hear for the next nine months?

CAMEROTA: And to that end, mission accomplished. Mission accomplished. Because as we know from all of the testimony, the president didn't really care about an investigation unless they wanted the announcement. And so, talking about it, ad nauseam for the next three days, mission accomplished. BERMAN: Margaret, I just want to get your quick take in the Axios reporting, CNN is reporting is that there's no indication that there are four votes to get witnesses -- remember, nearly 70 percent of the American people said they want to hear witnesses and new evidence, but we see no indication, yet, those four votes exist. What's your reporting on that?

TALEV: Yes. Our reporting for the last couple of days is that the four who -- seemed like would be the ones that they could get, Murkowski and Collins, and Mitt Romney and Lamar Alexander, that Lamar Alexander had seemed resistant.

And I got to say, Murkowski has seemed resistant in the last couple of days. Democrats themselves saying, we're not sure if we're going to get there. And I expect the president today to -- his team to on the one hand raise the Biden -- their Biden issues as a distraction, and on the other hand to talk about the president's executive powers and acting within his rights, whether it was making decisions about who ambassador should be or trying to conduct foreign policy.

If enough Republicans are going to -- willing to accept that, then effectively, the White House, if they don't make things worse will have done their case.

CAMEROTA: We'll see. Human beings are unpredictable, I find.

TALEV: True.

CAMEROTA: Sometimes, it's hard to predict what they're going to do three days out.

TALEV: Or two days out.

CAMEROTA: I'll leave it on that. Thank you all very much.

TALEV: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK. So overnight, Senator Bernie Sanders responded to Hillary Clinton's recent attacks. What he says about Clinton's claim that, quote, nobody likes him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:20]

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is disappointing to me not to be in Iowa talking to the people there. I'm accepting my constitutional responsibility. But what I'm saying obviously is -- at a disadvantage...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it places Biden at an advantage over you?

SANDERS: Politically in the last week or so with the campaign, yes, I think it does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Senator Bernie Sanders says his campaign schedule is, quote, in the garbage bin, thanks to the impeachment trial. The Iowa caucuses are nine days away. Four Democratic senators are sidelined from their campaigns thanks to President Trump's impeachment trial. So what are they doing about it and how are the other candidates taking advantage of their absence?

Let's discuss with Mark McKinnon, he's CNN political commentator and co-host of "The Circus" on Showtime. And CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich who is Des Moines this morning for us.

Vanessa, let me start with you. So while these senators have been in Washington because of President Trump's impeachment trial, it sounds like Mayor Buttigieg is capitalizing on their absence in terms of his campaign schedule. So what's he been up to?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Alisyn. We have seen Mayor Pete Buttigieg add nearly five events every day to his schedule for the next week. There's certainly more real estate to play with when there's less candidates here in town.

We know that over the last year since he announced his exploratory committee that he's had 130 events right here in the state of Iowa, 25 of those events just in the last month. Just in January. So as a lot of these senators are, of course, in Washington having to be at these Senate hearings, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in particular, is really capitalizing on his opportunity to speak with more voters. The less candidates there are in the state, the less choices there are for voters to go to these different events.

[07:20:10]

Another thing that he's doing, Alisyn, is he's trying to switch up his message. He's trying to say, hey, don't look over there in Washington. Look over here. Look what they're doing. Look at that disorganization over there. What he's trying to establish is that he's the anti- Washington candidate. And we know that lot of voters are very much fatigued with impeachment. They don't think -- Democratic voters don't think the president will be removed, and they want to see a candidate, a Democratic candidate that can take on President Trump in the election. And Pete Buttigieg, Alisyn, is saying, hey, that's me, come to my events, let me tell you about it.

CAMEROTA: Interesting. So he's making hay while the sun shines, as they say, Mark. So you have some reporting on what the senators are doing back in Washington and how they're trying to sort of spin both these plates. So Senator Amy Klobuchar, you gave us a clip of what -- how she's trying to still have a presence in Iowa. Let's play that, and then you can tell us if they're being successful. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So this is a little later than we planned, but I think you all understand I have my job and to fulfill my constitutional duty. I'm going to be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day, which is why we're doing this tele town hall. And you have honored me, all of you on the call, that you understand that I can't be there in person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we have 12,000 people that are on this call.

KLOBUCHAR: OK. That is really a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot.

KLOBUCHAR: It's -- many more --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Questions are coming in.

KLOBUCHAR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to answer every one of them.

KLOBUCHAR: OK. I better -- I better get my act together now. I've been -- oh, shorter answers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Awesome cameo, first of all, Mark. So is that -- do they think that's effective?

MARK MCKINNON, CO-HOST, SHOWTIME'S "THE CIRCUS": Hello, weekend warriors. Well, effective or not, they're trying to find creative ways to maintain a presence in Iowa.

The tough thing for Amy Klobuchar, I mean, it's tough on Sanders, Warren, and Bennet, as well. But for Klobuchar, she was just starting to get some momentum. She got the quad cities' endorsement; she got a co-endorsement from the New York Times. A lot of state legislators' endorsement. So, she's just about like building that momentum and then, boom, she's captive in Washington.

So, she's been doing lots of different things. The tele town hall was one example. She had 12,000 people on the phone. That's a lot of people. And that was 10:00 at night. Before she went to the Senate in the morning, she was doing satellite interviews into local television stations so...

CAMEROTA: But you've done this a long time. Do you think the satellite interviews and the phones, as we say, is as effective as a town hall face to face?

MCKINNON: It can be -- it can be super effective because those television stations reach a lot of people. And those television stations actually are giving them more attention than they might otherwise if they were actually there because she's in the Senate and able to dial in specifically to these different locals.

Listen, it's not optimal, but they're making, you know, the best they can out of a tough situation. CAMEROTA: That's interesting. Meanwhile, Vanessa, what do you make of this Elizabeth Warren's campaign manager has just put out yesterday a memo, and we can't tell if this is sort of trying to downplay expectations or what the point of this is. But this is the memo from Roger Lau who says, "We expect this to be a long nomination fight and have built our campaign to sustain well past Super Tuesday and stay resilient no matter what breathless media narratives come when voting begins." What's that about, Vanessa?

YURKEVICH: Well, I think it's twofold. I think that in many ways, he's right. Voters here still trying to make up their mind about who they want to vote for here in Iowa. We could see that play out in additional early voting states down the line.

But I also think it's a nod to saying, maybe don't pay so much attention to these early voting states if we don't do as well because the race has been so tight. It's really these Super Tuesday days where tons of people are voting across the United States that may give Elizabeth Warren more of the bump that she needs.

You know, these top candidates, Biden, Buttigieg, Warren, and Sanders have been really trading top spots, particularly here in Iowa and in New Hampshire. So I think that memo is really saying, hey, don't put all your eggs in one basket in Iowa, in New Hampshire. Let this play out and see what happens.

CAMEROTA: Mark, also more news. Senator Bernie Sanders has responded to Hillary Clinton where she did that interview and said that nobody likes him. He at first quipped -- well, on some days my wife likes me. But now he has given another response that is more substantive about that. So listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: I am sorry for what Secretary Clinton had to say. I know she said that nobody likes me, right? I mean, this is not the kind of rhetoric that we need right now when we are trying to bring the Democratic Party together to defeat the most dangerous president in American history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKINNON: Well, interesting, a unity message coming from Bernie Sanders. And he's one that kind of stuck at the Clinton and that's why she's kind of trying to get her revenge. But it's...

[07:25:09]

CAMEROTA: I mean, I don't know if it's her revenge or if she feels -- if there's still a bitter pill.

MCKINNON: Either way. Either way. But it's not helpful to unifying the Democratic Party which Democrats in Iowa feel very strongly about it. And Bernie's appealing also to a lot of those Hillary voters out there, as well, that say, listen, you know, that's in the past. And he also, by the way, he's got a problem in the polling with people who don't reach the threshold of 15 percent in those caucuses because only six percent of them today say they would vote for Sanders on the second ballot. So this is an interesting appeal to those voters strategically.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for all of that. Mark McKinnon, great to get your analysis. Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you for your reporting. Great to talk to both of you.

MCKINNON: Kick it.

CAMEROTA: Done.

BERMAN: So nearly 70 percent of Americans say they want to hear witnesses and see documents that have been withheld in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Will Republicans defy what seems to be the will of the people? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Of course, I was enough so we had even more storm to skip, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:29:59]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Whether you like the president or you dislike the president is immaterial. It's all about the Constitution and his misconduct. If it meets the standard of impeachable conduct, as we have proved, it doesn't matter whether you like him. It doesn't matter whether you dislike him.

What matters is whether he is a danger to the country, because he will do it again. And none of us can have confidence based on his record that he will not do it again because he is telling us every day that he will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That was Congressman Adam Schiff, finishing up three days of arguments from the House impeachment managers. The president's lawyers will begin their opening arguments just a few hours from now. Joining us now, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, from Maryland.

Senator Van Hollen, thanks so much for being with us. Congressman Schiff, he wants to hear witnesses at the trial of President Trump in the Senate. The American people, nearly 70 percent say they would like to hear witnesses and see the evidence that's been withheld in the trial of President Trump. What are you hearing from your Republican colleagues in the Senate, specifically those four or five who might be on defense about whether they want to hear from new witnesses?

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, John, good to be with you. And that is the major question, are we going to get a fair trial at the end of the day, which requires being able to call relevant witnesses and documents or are we not?

And while you have public statements from a lot of our Republican Senate colleagues, saying they'll think about it, or they're considering it? We haven't gotten anything definitive from the magic four number. So, that will be a big question going forward.

I think the president's going to have a very difficult time in their case because the House managers put forward a mountain of factual information. And Adam Schiff, you know, previewed some of the president's defenses, things like Zelensky, saying there was no pressure, he kind of -- he debunked that. The no quid pro quo, he debunked that.

So, here's the point. If the president's lawyers try to contest the facts here, they will simply be making the case even more strongly that we need witnesses and documents who have knowledge of those facts.

BERMAN: One of the things that the president's lawyers tell us they will focus on is the Bidens. Jay Sekulow, went on T.V. yesterday, saying the bar door is wide open now, double-wide because the House managers have spoken about the Bidens. What do you expect to hear from them? What are you listening for?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, first of all, John, it's nonsense that they were not planning to make that part of their case, anyway. That the president's lawyers were trying to make that part of their case that's what House Republicans did during the House impeachment proceedings.

I -- it's a really good question because obviously, talking about the Bidens is a total red herring and distraction when it comes to President Trump's action and his abuse of power, and his obstruction of Congress.

And, of course, the whole scheme of Rudy Giuliani and President Trump was to abuse their power, use the instruments of government and the office of the presidency to get Ukraine to do them a political favor.

What was that? Smearing the Bidens. And so, now you may see the spectacle of the president's lawyers trying to use a Senate trial for that crass political purpose. And, you know, they may go down that road, but I hope Republican senators will recognize that, that is a total distraction from the facts at the heart of this matter.

BERMAN: A lot of what yesterday focused on was obstruction of Congress. And you've been a central player and discussing the Government Accountability Office report that the administration broke the law in withholding Ukraine aid. And you've also pointed to a letter from the White House, which seems to suggest they were uncooperative with that very investigation. That letter says this is from the White House to the GAO.

"You're in possession of the letter from the General Counsel of OMB, dated December 11th, 2019, which addresses the question in your letters. The White House does not plan to respond separately to your letters."

So, what's wrong in your mind with that response?

VAN HOLLEN: Yes, John, this is part of the pattern of obstruction we've seen now. I asked the GAO to conduct this investigation a couple of months ago. They did. They concluded that the administration broke the law when it withheld the money.

And they also raised in their report, the issue of the White House and the administration withholding information in an unprecedented way. GAO has never experienced the administration that would not cooperate to the extent that this administration has refused to cooperate.

[07:35:04]

VAN HOLLEN: Part of that was the White House refusing to respond to their inquiry, and all agencies of the administration refusing to respond to their requests for documents, just like they refuse to respond to the House request for documents.

This is unprecedented obstruction in our entire history as the House managers put forward, and what they did to GAO is just one piece of the larger picture.

BERMAN: Look, we talked about evidence and witnesses. There is new evidence or new information, at least, that came to light overnight. And there is -- that's this audio recording which seems to show President Trump talking to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman back in 2018, about the removal of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

Let me just play you some of that audio that ABC News was the first to obtain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PARNAS: The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we got to get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration.

TRUMP: What, the ambassador to the Ukraine?

PARNAS: Yes, she's basically walking around, telling everybody, 'wait, he's going to get impeached, just wait. It's incredible.

TRUMP: Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out, OK? Do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: Take her out. So, what do you want to do with this now, Senator?

VAN HOLLEN: So, this shows two things. One, it bolsters strongly the credibility of Parnas himself, right? You have President Trump going around, saying he doesn't know this guy, maybe he's in a couple of pictures.

Here he is conspiring with Parnas to get rid of our ambassador. And this is also part of the whole factual case about how the president himself was orchestrating this whole scheme along with Rudy Giuliani, and Giuliani's associates.

Here, in this -- in this scene, beginning the process early on, took him a little while to get rid of Ambassador Yovanovitch, because she was an anti-corruption fighter and she was standing in the way of the Trump-Giuliani scheme.

To get the new Ukrainian government and what would become the new reform government The ability to -- them trying to get they're engaged in this scheme to investigate -- a sham investigation to Biden.

So, this is just more evidence that the president is not telling the truth, when he tells the country he doesn't know Parnas, and it bolsters so the House managers case.

BERMAN: Senator Chris Van Hollen, a great --

(CROSSTALK)

VAN HOLLEN: It also goes to show -- and this, while this and the president's comments about something is going to happen to her, is just another example of President Trump's political thuggery, as well throughout this process.

BERMAN: Chris Van Hollen, we got to run. Thanks so much for being with us this morning. Appreciate it.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, John, on a very different note, a star on the ice making history.

BERMAN: Me?

CAMEROTA: No, not you, this is as a 14-year-old skating sensation.

BERMAN: Me?

CAMEROTA: Not you because you can't do that. What she did last night is something that has never been done before.

BERMAN: By someone besides me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:42:43]

BERMAN: The New Jersey Giants, retiring Eli Manning's number 10. CAMEROTA: Coy Wire has more in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT". I'm selling it, boy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Happy to see you and John. You know, Eli Manning was always just so calm. When I played against him, I'd be freaking out. We're about to play an NFL game here, he was so cool and he could really step up big in big moments.

He's retiring, did you know, as the highest earner in NFL history right ahead of his big brother Peyton Manning. Now two-time Super Bowl champ, number seven all-time in passing yards and touchdowns.

He holds the record for most passing yards in a single postseason. Now, most impressive, Eli didn't miss a single game due to injury in 16 seasons, yet, some still questioning if he's Hall of Fame worthy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELI MANNING, RETIRED AFTER 16 SEASONS WITH NEW YORK GIANTS: For most of my life, people have called me easy. Believe me, there is nothing easy about today. Wellington Mara always said: once a Giant, always a Giant. For me, it's only a Giant. Thank you so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Congrats to Eli. Let's go to New Orleans, where Zion Williamson, in just his second NBA game delivers a highlight-reel block for the ages. Malik Beasley shot land somewhere in a punch bowl on Bourbon Street.

The number one overall pick. Serious hops here, sending the ball about four rows deep into the stands. These Pelicans lose to Denver, but Zion finishing with 15 points in just 21 minutes.

You have to come see this, 14-year-old Alysa Liu, becoming the first lady to attempt a quad at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. And she lands it too. She claims her second straight gold.

Last year at 13, she became the youngest U.S. champ ever. This year, she still needs help getting up onto that podium. Alysa, she said was trembling afterwards when she talked to reporters that she says she was trembling during this skate, as well. I would get nervous for dodge ball at that age.

John, what were you doing at 14?

BERMAN: When I landed my first quad? I was just as nervous.

CAMEROTA: Accidentally though, -- right, after falling.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly right.

CAMEROTA: Coy, thank you very much. WIRE: You're welcome.

[07:44:53]

CAMEROTA: So, an explosive report this morning about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A reporter says he screamed and cursed at her after a simple question about Ukraine. Our next guest says this is a pattern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:49:54]

CAMEROTA: A reporter from NPR says she got a tongue lashing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, asked Pompeo about his lack of defense from one of his diplomats, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Secretary Pompeo had one response for public consumption and a very different one in private. Here's a portion of the interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST, NPR: People who work for you in your department, people who have resigned from this department under your leadership saying you should stand up for the diplomats who work here.

(CROSSTALK)

MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: What? I don't -- I don't know who -- I don't know who these unnamed sources are you're referring to. I can tell you this -- when I talk -- when I talk -- when I talk to my team here --

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: These are not unnamed sources. This is your senior adviser Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer with four decades experience who testified under oath that he resigned in part due to the failure of the State Department to offer support to foreign service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine.

POMPEO: Yes, I'm not going to comment on things that Mr. McKinley may have said. I'll say only this. I have defended every State Department official. We've built a great team. The team that works here is doing amazing work around the world.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Sir, respectfully, where have you defended Marie Yovanovitch?

POMPEO: I've defended every single person on this team. I've done what's right for every single person on this team.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Can you point me towards your remarks? Where you have defended Marie Yovanovitch?

POMPEO: I've said all I'm going to say today, thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Garrett Graff, CNN contributor and national security contributor for Wired. He has written an in-depth profile of Mike Pompeo.

Garrett, great to have you here because you're going to give us context for what happened there with Mary Louise Kelly. What happened next is even in some ways more interesting. He abruptly ended the interview, and he walked out. An aide then came back into the room or Mary Louise Kelly was and asked her to follow her to a private room with Secretary Pompeo, and that's where she said that it was this sort of expletive-laced exchange with him.

So, let me play for you what Mary Louise Kelly says happened next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: I was taken to the Secretary's private living room where he was waiting, and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself had lasted. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked, do you think Americans care about Ukraine?

He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map. I said, yes. He called out for his aides to bring him a map of the world with no writing, no countries marked. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away.

He said people will hear about this. And then he turned and said he had things to do, and I thanked him again for his time and left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: OK. So, Garrett, you have spent time obviously around him and researching him for this profile. So, you say that you see a pattern here. What is that?

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. So, Mike Pompeo has been uniquely hostile to the media, you know, effectively since he took over a secretary of state in line with many other Trump administration officials.

But what makes Mike Pompeo stand out is that he most seems to bristle. He gets angriest and most condescending in interviews with female journalist. I think where he sort of expects to be getting softball questions and is surprised to lose control under tough questioning.

CAMEROTA: So, what does he have against women?

GRAFF: All right, well, so, this has been this -- I think, weird pattern. We're right at the beginning of this Ukraine scandal, he was in Nashville, speaking to a local T.V. legend there named Nancy Amons, when he was in town to speak at a Christian cons conference. And he was so upset at her questions that he accused her of working for the Democratic National Committee.

CAMEROTA: We have that moment. So, let's play that moment, and then, you can tell us what's behind all of this. So, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY AMONS, REPORTER, WSMV: Text messages show that diplomats under your authority told the Ukrainians that a good relationship with President Trump was only possible if they investigated his political opponent and theories about what happened in 2016. We're you aware that this was happening?

POMPEO: Again, you've got your facts wrong. Sounds like you're working, at least, in part for the Democratic National Committee when you phrase a predicate of a question in that way. It's unfortunate, it does a real disservice to the --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: So, Garrett, are you saying that he underestimates women -- female reporters, and that he also castigates them more harshly?

GRAFF: That certainly seems to be the pattern, you know, sort of why precisely he behaves like this, you know, we can't be in Mike Pompeo's mind. But just a couple of days before that, he had actually made the same comment to Judy Woodruff that she was working on behalf of the Democrats.

You know, Judy, and Mary Louise Kelly, and Nancy Amons, obviously, none of them, you know, sort of anything other than upstanding journalists.

He's tried eviscerated USA Today's Dierdre Shesgreen in an earlier interview and tried to mansplain agriculture policy to her when he thought her questions were too tough. And this is just a very weird pattern, and we've never seen this kind of behavior with male journalists in any interview he's ever done.

[07:55:10]

CAMEROTA: That's really interesting, Garrett. And it's helpful to have this pattern revealed to us as your reporting does. So, thank you very much. Great to talk to you.

So, this morning, the president's defense team will make their opening arguments a special edition of New Day continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These House Democrats have made their case. The White House has been sitting back and watching it. And now, it's their turn.