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House Managers Respond To Trump Team's Opening Argument; Trump's Defense Team Argues Against Impeachment. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired January 25, 2020 - 13:00   ET

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


[12:59:58]

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): That the security assistance was conditioned, it was as simple and as clear as two plus two equals four. They put it in writing, they testified about it. Gordon Sondland, they conveniently neglect to tell you had a direct conversation with the president, which we all remember, in which he says no quid pro quo, but here is the quid pro quo. No quid pro quo, but Zelensky has to go to the mic and announced these investigations, and he should want to. That's the quid pro quo.

So, I don't know, maybe they don't consider -- maybe they consider him a Democratic witness, but what about Mulvaney? When they say no witnesses made, the direct know what no witnesses could directly put words in the president's mouth? Well, first of all, of course, Gordon Sondland did, but what about Mick Mulvaney, who admitted in a press conference just like this, of course, we do. It happens all the time. Get over it.

No mention of the president's chief of staff. Now, why is that? It gets me to my final point before I turn over to my colleague. Why did they make no mention of Mick Mulvaney? Why would they have you look away from the fact that the president's own chief of staff has admitted to the most pernicious part of this scheme, which is the withholding of military aid to get Ukraine to do these investigations?

Why would they make no mention of that? It gets back to something. They argued in the first two minutes of their presentation. When they were attacking the House managers, they said, the House managers' goal should be to give you all of the facts. That is our goal. It's just not theirs. Because Mick Mulvaney has some of these facts.

Another name you didn't hear was John Bolton. John Bolton has some of these facts. You didn't hear the name Duffy or Blair or other witnesses that the president who is so confident that this was really about corruption, and not about trying to smear an opponent doesn't want you to hear from.

The one question they did not address at all is why they don't want to give the American people a fair trial. Why they want this to be the first impeachment case in history without a single witness, and without a single document being turned over.

That ought to tell you everything you need to know about the strength and weaknesses of their case, which is they know exactly what the president did. The president's men know exactly what the president did. We prove what the president did. And the last thing they want is more of the truth to come out.

Mr. Nadler.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): Thank you very much. I want to make a number of points. First, the general point. You heard Adam and I, and probably most the other managers say over the last few days that predict that the president's case would not go into evidence, who would not deal with the substance of the accusations, because they can't defend the accusations. They were going to process.

When you talk about how the House managers were terrible about the House procedures, were terrible about how we denied due process, et cetera. But they wouldn't address the realities of the case.

And they couldn't address the realities of the case, and by the way, when they say that the House should have brought the witnesses by then, by now, where are the witnesses? Remember, the president gave a blanket order to everyone not to testify.

All members of executive agencies, the people who testified in front of the Intelligence Committee, were defying director orders from the president. There are witnesses we wanted in the Judiciary Committee, there witnesses Adam wanted and others in the Intel Committee. We've gone to court for them. We've been in court for eight, nine months, since April for Mr. McGahn, for example. And we haven't gotten them.

And why haven't they testified? Because the president has told them not to testify. They will eventually when the courts forced them to. And then you hear the president's council get up and say, well, they should have finished -- they should have brought the evidence, they should have had the witnesses after doing everything they can to prevent any witnesses, to prevent any testimony. That's point one.

Point two. You heard them say today, as they said the other day that we denied the president due process. We denied -- again, it doesn't deal with the issues in the case, but we denied the president due process. We in the House, we wouldn't let them testify. They had secret hearings in the basement.

Well, the Intelligence Committee held hearings in the basement where all the Republicans and all the Democrats and three committees were there, could ask any questions they want.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[13:05:06]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to continue to monitor that. I want to bring in our legal team here in New York.

Preet, what do you make of Adam Schiff? I mean, essentially, he's saying, look, and Nadler saying this is what -- they are really aren't arguing facts at this point. PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, they're arguing some facts with the margins, but they're arguing more process and they're making these other claims about overturning the election. These are rhetorical points.

Look, once again, you see Adam Schiff has -- Jeff and I were talking about this during while we're watching, has commanded over every fact and every detail in the case. He can come out without prepared remarks, respond in real-time, in rebuttal fashion.

Look, and he's going to one of the central points in the case. What was the reason that the aid was withheld? The president's team has said there are two reasons. One is burden-sharing with other people to give money. And the second is he cared about corruption.

First of all, there protectable many reasons Adam Schiff said. Second, they're contradicting each other, right? The idea that you want other people to pay money, but at the same time, you're worried about corruption. Why would you want other nations to give -- to share the burden if one of your central concerns is corruption in the country?

And then, there's the question of whether or not the real reason was wanting to get this announcement of investigation against the Bidens? What I think is missing a little bit from all this discussion is, lots of human beings have multiple reasons for doing things. I don't believe reasons one and two, I think they're protectable. But even if it's true, that part of the reason that president wanted to withhold the money was because of reasons one and two. If there's a case that one reason, I don't know if it has been majority reason or not, was to get the announcement of an investigation, depending on the law and depend on what the standards are, that is sufficient to be a crime.

In other contexts, in cases that we brought in the Southern District of New York, you might have a politician decides to vote one way on a bill, and it might be a bill that he likes, it might be a bill that's good for his constituents.

But if part of the reason he voted for the bill was this bad reason, like a bribe, you're guilty and you go to prison.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: And just again, why mastery of the facts is so important? When -- remember, during the defense presentation, the -- again, I apologize, I don't remember which defense lawyer was, said, you know, read the transcript look at, you know, the multiple reasons why the president was, you know, interacting with Ukraine.

But Schiff points out, what happens the next day, July 26th, when he's on the phone with Sondland? And what does he say to Sondland? He said he talks about getting the investigation.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Well, he's not talking about burden-sharing. He's not.

TOOBIN: He's not talking about burden-sharing. COOPER: And, by the way, Sondland is ambassador to the European Union. So, if he's concerned about European countries in burden sharing, Ambassador Sondlland would probably be one of the people in on that discussion.

What doesn't make any sense is why Ambassador Sondland is even involved in the Ukraine operation, since it's really not his purview.

TOOBIN: Well, Ukraine is not part of the European Union. He has been assigned this account, which obviously disturbed people in National Security Council, which was, you know, one of the things we learned during the testimony, but, you know, the fact that you can pluck various purported explanations for the President's actions that are innocent. That does, and I think this is why it's important that Schiff knows the facts that doesn't get you away from what was really going on here, which was a corrupt deal.

ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: But this is -- I mean, this is, I think, a bit of a different discussion than we were expecting to have today. I mean, this is actually a remarkably substantive discussion that we're all having. In a way, because the president's team I think, actually did go through a lot of the facts.

May not agree with the interpretation of them, You may not agree with them, but it was a pretty -- it was a substantive presentation of the facts. And then, Schiff, because he has such a command of the facts as Jeffrey said, I mean, today, a very sort of comprehensive job of sort of going through all the facts which has allowed us to have this discussion.

TOOBIN: What -- and I had another reaction to all these discussions of the facts and the interactions among the various participants. Anyone who knows how government works or how business works knows that when you are discussing any sort of policy, there are a lot of e-mails that go back and forth. There are a lot of texts. That's how business and government works.

The idea that we are having a serious investigation, supposedly, of American policy in Ukraine without looking at any government e-mails, is just preposterous.

GARBER: So, you're saying the House should have filed the lawsuit to get those e-mails.

TOOBIN: Well, they the someone should have -- someone should have -- well, I mean, we -- the issue of, you know, who should have done it, and when is a different one. But the idea that if --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let me ask if there were e-mails that showed the president really was just focused on burden sharing, and that was his primary thing. You would think the White House would have very quickly made those e-mails available.

[13:10:08] JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, as they immediately made available, the summary of the call from July 25th, when they decided, I think, misguidedly, that it would help them.

But I think you're exactly right. We're all talking about what the president thought and why he did what he did. If there were documents about that, you know, witnesses are a little touchy, or it's a little harder to know what's going to happen. When a witness gets on the stand, you open a can of worms there.

But documents don't have executive privilege issues, right? You could give all the documents and not have those same problems.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Or, I mean, they would --

RODGERS: And they would have done that if they exonerate the president.

GARBER: Well, executive privilege actually does apply to documents. And you know, this isn't the first White House to claim privilege and to actually refuse to turn over documents and information to Congress.

It's not the first, it's not the fifth, it's not the 10th, it's not the 20th. It is this is something that --

(CROSSTALK)

RODGERS: But can -- it can all be done more easily than with a witness because you don't have the question --

(CROSSTALK)

GARBER: No, no, no, that's right. But, you know, this notion of kind of a back and forth, a tug of war between Congress and the president over documents is not unusual.

COOPER: Is the blanket nature of the withholding? That's what makes it unusual, isn't it? That piece and they could --

GARBER: Yes, yes, yes.

COOPER: In past some history, I'm with the Obama administration on, you know --

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Fast and furious.

COOPER: Fast and furious, there were -- there was back and forth. But those were specific thing.

GARBER: Yes, that, that piece is what makes it unusual. And you know -- and you guys know, I have been critical of the way that House has addressed, you know, these issues. I think if a House actually filed an action in court, there would have been efforts to reach an accommodation, there would have been more information provided by the administration because --

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Wait, you think that the administration would have -- didn't you read -- would you read the Cipollone's letter where we said we're giving you nothing, nothing, nothing. And you think there would have been an accommodation with the subpoena?

GARBER: That is how it is often worked in battles between the White House.

BHARARA: Yes, but we're dealing in a time for what is often worked before and happen before is not going to happen here.

GARBER: But we won't know that because the House didn't file an action.

BHARARA: But, because we're on a clock. And I, at various times have also been critical of it.

GARBER: Yes.

BHARARA: Because based on (INAUDIBLE) experience --

(CROSSTALK)

GARBER: But they set their own clock.

BHARARA: I think, not only you not want to have a hearing or a trial without having looked at the witnesses. Well, having looked at the documents. You don't even want to approach the witnesses in the first place before you know all the things that they have said. So it's extraordinary in various ways.

Now, there's one sort of rhetorical cleverness that has been exploited by the Republicans and it has a surface appeal and it's this. Adam Schiff correctly, I think, and others say, we have an overwhelming case. We have all the proof that you possibly need. We're done, we're finished, we can go to the Senate, and they use the phrase, overwhelming case.

GARBER: Yes.

BHARARA: On the other hand, we'd like to have more documents like to have more witnesses. Now, that's hard for people to understand who are thoughtful and intelligent. The reason you're -- they're in that conundrum, is because they chose the lesser of two evils. They wanted to proceed when they thought they had enough, but it is a little odd to say overwhelming case, now we need more witnesses.

TOOBIN: That's been a -- I mean, that's been a challenge for the -- for the House managers from the very beginning. And you know, their argument is, look, we have an overwhelming case, but there are also facts out there that are important to explore. (CROSSTALK)

BHARARA: But, it's overwhelming but not complete.

TOOBIN: Yes.

BHARARA: Right.

COOPER: Is there -- regardless of what happens now, or assuming that the president is not -- is not impeach, which there's no sign -- is not actually removed or found guilty by the Senate, is there a chance that House -- the house will just file -- will continue to kind of move through the courts to get this documents?

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: I think it's a certainty. I think it's a certainty. I mean, the like, for example, the Don McGahn case has already been decided in the district court. That's the Judiciary Committee subpoenaed to Don McGahn, who used to be the White House Counsel.

They filed the suit in April. They got a decision from the district court in December, and now it is going to be on appeal to the D.C. circuit. Maybe it will be resolved by the political conventions, maybe it won't even be resolved by the end of President Trump's term. That's the problem.

GARBER: I think -- I think that becomes a very difficult political issue, which is, you know, something that I think the House would be concerned about is, you know, they did this investigation, they brought the case, the president's acquitted.

And then, they're going to go back and do the same investigation again. You know, it logically -- it should be a certainty. I think it does put House Democrats in a very tough position, though.

[13:14:30]

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. We're going to fact check the claims that there were no quid pro quo. This is CNN's special live coverage. We'll be back for a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: The deputy White House counsel Mike Purpura, the -- accused the lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff of totally mischaracterizing President Trump's July 25th phone conversation with the president of Ukraine.

This after playing an interpretation that Schiff gave of the July 25th call during the House impeachment hearings. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PURPURA, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: That's fake. That's not the real call. That's not the evidence here. That's not the transcript that Mr. Cipollone just referenced. And we can shrug it off and say, we were making light or a joke. But that was in a hearing in the United States House of Representatives discussing the removal of the president of the United States from office. There are very few things, if any, that can be as grave and as serious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: So, he was making the point that at one of those hearings, Adam Schiff did what he -- what he described as a parody of the president's phone conversation with President Zelensky.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It was.

BLITZER: And it got him into some serious trouble.

[13:19:52]

BORGER: It did and it was ill-advised. I think Schiff shouldn't have done it. And I actually asked Adam Schiff about it directly, do you regret it? And, of course, he said to me, no, he didn't regret it. But I think a lot of people who work for him probably regret it because they know that it was going to be used.

And you heard Adam Schiff yesterday evening in his prebuttal, saying, look, I know they're going to use this against me.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes.

BORGER: And of course, they did. I'm going to make one other point, Wolf because I need to correct myself. Earlier, I said that it was Jennifer Williams, who heard from Ukrainians about -- wondering about where the aid was, I misspoke, it was actually Laura Cooper who testified to that. She's the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia.

She said questions were raised to her on July 25th about the -- about the money.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And there was -- that was interesting talking about Jennifer Williams in that testimony, which you saw Purpura doing as he was talking about the transcript of this call.

And I believe, one of his quotes was, you can't be threatened if someone doesn't know that they're being threatened. Essentially arguing the Ukrainians didn't know that the president wanted to hold on this military aid at the time of that July 25th phone call, though we do know that there were top Ukrainians who had been made aware by the president's own advisers that he did want to see these investigations.

They've -- not even always people who worked in the administration, there were a lot of the Rudy Giuliani, the other types who had been pushing this. What he did say about Jennifer Williams, who was the Vice President Mike Pence, who was on that call. We actually did not know she was on the call at the beginning, until later, someone did turn her name over to the investigators and said she was on the call. He said, well, why didn't she flag it if she did have concerns with it? Because she did say that she believes the president's asked and the bringing up Burisma was unusual.

Well, the question about that as -- and I've talked to multiple people in the administration about that, her boss was on the call. That's General Kellogg. He's a National Security advisor for Vice President Pence.

So their thinking was essentially, if you're on a call and your boss on the call, you're going to leave it up to them to bring it up with people like the vice president and other officials, not necessarily you, a deputy bringing it up.

BLITZER: One of the things that was effective from the White House lawyers' perspective is playing those sound bites.

HENDERSON: Yes.

BLITZER: Those clips from those who testified all under oath, who are basically defending the president.

HENDERSON: Yes, Tim Morrison made a lot of appearances in the Republicans as Trump's attorney's presentation. And he is basically --

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Ambassador Volker, for example.

HENDERSON: Ambassador Volker.

BORGER: Right.

HENDERSON: And these are people is particularly, Tim Morrison, who listened to the call, didn't necessarily think anything was wrong with it, didn't think that it was unnecessarily illegal.

So, that is what they're arguing, that bolsters of the president's case that everything was perfectly fine with the scope. They clearly are going to put on a truncated case that is focused on this call, remember?

I mean, the president so interested in this call, got t-shirts made up for his campaign, read the transcript. So, that's what they want to do. And of course, the Democrats, you know, say that this was a month- long scheme, right?

Remember Marie Yovanovitch, that's when it kind of kicked off this idea of pushing around so that they could undertake this months-long scheme. So, it really is interesting to see, you know, this is completely in many ways, I think from the mind of the president how he wants to be seen, focus just on this call and not on other calls, right? For instance, Sondland's call with the president when he's overheard on the phone, essentially saying, you know, checking it on the investigations in Sondland's interpretation that this president didn't really care much about Ukraine.

BORGER: Well, and if it was such a perfect call, why did they go out of their way to deep-six it somewhere so that nobody, nobody could get a look at it.

HENDERSON: Right.

BORGER: That it would had to be so closely held? You don't make a decision to do that unless you're worried about whether it's you think it's going to get bad press if it comes out or whether you actually think it's a terrible call?

HENDERSON: Right, right.

BORGER: And so, they didn't really address that.

BLITZER: All right. We have a lot more that we need to discuss. One Republican senator, by the way, just said she's leaning against voting for witnesses. We're live up on Capitol Hill. Plus, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, only moments ago, responding to claims by a reporter that he lashed out and cursed at her when she asked him about Ukraine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:28:26]

COOPER: Back with our special coverage. Republican senators now responding to the president's defense team today, which delivered its first day of opening arguments. CNN's Manu Raju is live on Capitol Hill.

Manu, what you're hearing from senators there today?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Democrats are coming out pretty united about the call for witnesses. Even some Democratic moderates, like Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

He told me just right after it wrapped today said that the contention that there were really virtually no witnesses, who have heard directly from the president means that they should hear from people directly from the president like Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton.

Now, Joe Manchin also told me that the president team did a good job in his view. And I asked him -- I asked him whether or not he made a vote to acquit this president. And at the end of the day, he said he still hasn't made a judgment on that.

One, another Democratic senator moderate, who's up for reelection in Alabama, Doug Jones, also said that just pushes the reinforces the need for further witnesses. And you heard that also from Democratic presidential contenders as well, Elizabeth Warren, she mentioned to me said that the president's team said the cross-examination is what helps get to the key information here. And she said that's exactly what needs to happen.

So, that's the Democratic line coming out of it. But ultimately, the question is, will there be enough support for witnesses? Talking to Republican senators are coming out for most of them are either saying that it's -- that they are supporting with the president's team is saying, they believe it undercuts what the -- what the Adam Schiff's team has presented.

But they are not yet willing to get go forward on witnesses, only people that are really leaning in that direction, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins. Mitt Romney, we caught up with afterwards and he told our colleague, Ted Barrett, that he is likely to vote for witnesses once the opening arguments are done. He said he'll make a final judgment.

But I caught up with another possible swing vote, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, from West Virginia. She told me she has to wait until the end of the day.

So it still seems an uphill climb for Democrats to get enough votes in order to subpoena witnesses like John Bolton, like Mick Mulvaney. They need 51 votes. There are 47 Democrats. They'll need to pick up four. And just having two at the moment. It is uncertain where the other votes will come from.

More Senators, of course, will make their views known, Anderson, once the president's team finishes their case, and that's expected to happen early next week -- Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Manu Raju, thanks so much.

Coming up next, a reporter says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cursed her out after questions about the Ukraine scandal. He is now responding, and says she lied to him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:34:59]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: One of the many arguments made today by President Trump's legal team was the continuously debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which would have given President Trump more of a reason to launch an investigation in the country.

Here's what the president's outside counsel said on the subject.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY SEKULOW, OUTSIDE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mr. Schiff and his colleagues repeatedly told you the Intelligence Community assessment that Russia was acting alone, responsible for the election interference, implying this somehow debunked the idea there might be, you know, interference from other countries, including Ukraine. Mr. Nadler deployed a similar argument saying that President Trump

thought, quote, "Ukraine not Russia interfered in the last presidential election." This is basically what we call a straw-man argument.

Let me be clear. The House managers, in an over 23-hour period, kept pushing this false dichotomy that it was either Russia or Ukraine but not both. They kept telling you inclusion of the Intelligence Committee and Mr. Mueller was Russia alone, with regard to the 2016 elections.

Of course, that's not the report that Bob Mueller wrote, focused on Russian interference, although there is some information in letters regarding Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. But that argument simply ignores a major statement from the U.S. Intelligence Community, and a statement from Trump- appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray made just last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: We have no information that indicates that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

I think it is important for the American people to be thoughtful consumers of information, to think about the sources of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Pretty strong statement, Kaitlan, from the FBI director.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And that is the president's handpicked FBI director, saying Ukraine did not interfere in the election.

Now, I heard them try to couch it as the president's attorneys were speaking saying all interference, what they were referencing. You ask people in the administration, what do you mean when you say that, they talk about op-eds, statements by Ukrainian officials, essentially saying they didn't want President Trump to win.

Now, of course, that goes after what the president said about Ukraine during his candidacy. That's a lot of reason they made those statements.

But of course, the idea you're comparing an op-ed to this systemic and sweeping interference that you saw by the Russians, that was laid out in the Mueller report, which Jay Sekulow brought with him the first section, which is all about Russian interference in the election, is notable.

And of course, the president still does think Ukraine tried to interfere in the election, despite the FBI director saying he didn't, despite his former Homeland Security adviser telling him he didn't, because he has people like Rudy Giuliani in his ear, telling him they did.

BLITZER: It is important, Gloria, to remember, for a foreign leader, whether a leader in Ukraine or any country, Europe, Africa, Asia, to write an article critical of a candidate, critical of a president, of an incumbent president, critical of a candidate, critical of someone in the United States. It happens all the time.

It is another thing for a foreign government, the intelligence service, the military intelligence service of that government, to hack computers and steal information to try to help a candidate. That's what the Russians were doing.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

BLITZER: That's not what Ukraine was doing.

BORGER: Well, but that's what the president believes Ukraine was doing. The one person that Jay Sekulow didn't mention is Rudy Giuliani because this is Rudy Giuliani's theory of the game here. They were very careful not to bring up Rudy Giuliani because they know that he is not well regarded in the United States Senate.

But if you, again, look at this summary of the transcript of the president's phone call, the president talks about CrowdStrike. He talks about a lot of things that went on. I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people. I would like to have you get to the bottom of it, this whole nonsense. He talked about Bob Mueller and said a lot of it started with Ukraine.

This is part of the transcript that we did not hear from the president's attorneys today because they preferred to talk about burden sharing.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: That's been discredited not just by outside fact checkers but by the president's own Intelligence Community.

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's right. I mean, this idea that Ukraine meddled is a proven talking point. That's in some ways where this whole thing bubbled up. You have people pick it up, including Rudy Giuliani, and folks on the conservative side of things, and you see the president there repeating it.

We also know that the president in that Helsinki press conference, right, basically took Putin's side. He says I have great confident in my intelligence people, and I will tell you President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today, right? Denial that Russia actually meddled in the election.

[13:40:05]

That was something that was obviously brought up in a powerful way, I thought, in the Democrats, House manager presentation of information yesterday. But they keep hanging onto this idea of the Ukrainians meddled and that gives them the predicate to say, listen, the president had every right to root out corruption which we know is based on this propaganda from Russia.

COLLINS: That's the question here. Who is their audience? One hundred Senators. They all know Russia meddled in the election. They have been briefed by the Intelligence Community. They did their own investigation.

The question is not how does the argument resonate with us, with the president's supporters or critics, how does it resonate with the 100 Senators in the room that know it was Russia that interfered in the election, who would know if there was a serious investigation into whether or not the Ukrainians interfered in the election in that way, which of course they know.

The question is you have to know your audience. That's what White House officials are advising the president, when he wants them to be fiery, to be aggressive, you have to know your audience. The Senate is not going to be receptive.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: But also Donald Trump. And so they came out, said the phone call was perfectly appropriate. And, B, maybe there were others in addition to Russia who meddled to try to give the president cover.

BLITZER: If the president -- if the president was watching the two hours where his lawyers were making the case for him, I am sure he was pleased.

COLLINS: I wonder if that's the tone they took. It wasn't as spitting fire and aggressive as some imagined it could be.

We heard from a lot of the president's allies, after Pat Cipollone got emotional, which the president praised him during the first day in the debates over the amendment, a lot of people said, no, Pat Cipollone should be the way he is every day, really reserved, lawyerly type. Because they were like, that's not what the Senate wants to hear. They don't want to see you come out and be really aggressive.

But they have to square that with what the president wants, which is a full-throated defense, where they're going to the mat, pounding their fist, and defending him.

They're essentially trying to please two audiences.

COATES: Maybe when they have a bigger audience -- and they will on Monday and Tuesday, whenever they want to use the next 22 hours, maybe in prime time. The president obviously mindful that not as many viewers on a Saturday as there will be on Monday or Tuesday.

BLITZER: Let's see how many viewers today. How many next week.

(CROSSTALK) BLITZER: Much more of our special coverage.

Plus, a development in the global spread of the coronavirus. The U.S. is evacuating Americans from a Chinese city. We take you to the region.

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[13:47:02]

COOPER: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released an official statement from his office, claiming a reporter that accused the secretary of shouting at her, demanding she point out Ukraine on a map, is lying. Not about the fact he yelled at her, questioned her intelligence, but he said, instead about the fact his comments were supposed to be off the record.

First, I will play for the interview that upset Secretary Pompeo so much.

(BEGIN AUDIO FEED)

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

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: 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 -- when I --

KELLY: These are not unnamed sources.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: 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 failure of the State Department to offer support to foreign service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine.

POMPEO: 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 built a great team. The team that works here is amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: -- Marie Yovanovitch.

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

KELLY: Can you point me toward their remarks where you defended Marie Yovanovitch?

POMPEO: I said all I'm going to say today. Thank you.

(END AUDIO FEED)

COOPER: Here is NPR's Mary Louise Kelly with what happened after she turned her recorder off.

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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 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 aides to bring him a map of the world with no writing or 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 AUDIO FEED)

COOPER: White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond, is live at the White House.

Jeremy, what part of the account is Secretary Pompeo denying?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, he's certainly not denying the substance of the conversation that he had with that NPR reporter. He's not denying the "F" bombs or the fact that he berated her over an interview where she's asking legitimate questions.

Here's what the secretary of state is saying in a statement: "NPR reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, lied to me twice. First, last month, setting up the interview. Then again yesterday, agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record."

"It is shameful this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this administration. It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity."

He also added, "It is worth noting that Bangladesh is not Ukraine."

[13:50:03]

Putting aside that Bangladesh part for a second, Anderson, that reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, said that the aide who ushered her in to meet with Pompeo, after the interview was over, did not tell her that that portion of the meeting would be off the record.

And she said that she should not have agreed to a meeting, had it been stated to her that it was off the record.

Now, as for that part about the map there, look, Mary Louise Kelly is a veteran national security reporter for NPR. She has a master's degree in European studies.

And if you look at the map, you can see Bangladesh is not anywhere near where Ukraine is. And certainly, Mary Louise Kelly, who covered these issues, who has a master's degree from Cambridge University in European studies, would certainly know where it is.

And of course, Pompeo is not directly accusing her of saying that she pointed to that. He is simply adding that at the end of the statement. But clearly the secretary of state is not willing to shy away from this petty squabble -- Anderson?

COOPER: And it is interesting he added the Bangladesh thing at the end. And he is not saying she pointed to Bangladesh. Even if she were to make a mistake, it wouldn't be pointing to Bangladesh as a Ukraine. It would be pointing to something in Eastern Europe you might get wrong. So he's not saying she did that. It just seems kind of like a catty thing to do at the end, to kind of suggest that's what she did, without even actually suggesting.

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DIAMOND: Well, look, this is not the first time that we have seen Secretary Pompeo have some pretty contentious exchanges with the news media. You'll remember he accused a local reporter of being -- of parodying DNC talking points when asking legitimate questions about Ukraine and about matters at the heart of the President Trump impeachment.

And I think, Anderson, this really falls into the audience-of-one strategy that we see for many members of the administration, including the secretary of state, that ultimately all that matters is that he is pleasing President Trump, particularly when it relates to these contentious exchanges with the media.

COOPER: Jeremy Diamond, thank you very much.

Back now with the legal team here.

Jeffrey, the outrage over -- that he is claiming a reporter lied to him. I have yet to hear him say anything about the numerous lies that his boss has told and repeatedly told.

But this notion that it was off the record, I mean, any experienced reporter, if something is off the record, it is off the record. But if some person didn't tell her it was off the record --

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JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It reminds me a little at what went on at the impeachment trial yesterday, where the manager, Schiff, Congressman Schiff, quoted that line --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: The CBS News report about the heads on a pike.

TOOBIN: Heads on a pike. And several Republican Senators got the vapor, you know, how could someone say something so outrageous.

This morning, there was more --

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COOPER: I would say they were offended that the suggestion that they would be, that the Senator would be intimidated by President Trump.

TOOBIN: Right. And at the same time, the president is tweeting, calling Democrats sickos. And you know, all of the insults that we're used to hearing from President Trump, on a daily or multiple-times-a- day basis, no Democrat claims that they are so offended that they can't, you know, go on with their work.

And I mean, I just think, one of the least, most distasteful parts of Washington is sort of the phony mock outrage. You know, that Secretary Pompeo is so horrified by Mary Louise Kelly, this veteran wonderful journalist.

And the same thing, in Congress, in the Senate, that you know, these Senators couldn't bear to hear Adam Schiff say a nasty thing.

COOPER: I do love he has a map that has no names on it, just at the ready --

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TOOBIN: You think it is from a coloring book or something?

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COOPER: Clearly, this must go to how to demean your staff by asking them to point out things.

I actually might try that.

TOOBIN: Just as long as I don't have to do Eastern Europe, I'm all right.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: One other thing that this highlights, though, is Secretary Pompeo, of course, is one of the witnesses that people are talking about, they should call him, right? He is one person who would have had these firsthand conversations with Trump.

But what kind of witness is he going to make? He is someone who obviously loses his temper, who doesn't want to be questioned and grilled. And it gives you a little bit of insight, into, if they managed to get him on the stand, who knows what could happen.

ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is the kind of Roy Cohn strategy in picking your battles. He didn't believe in picking battles. He believed everything was a battle, which is why we saw this press release --

COOPER: Roy Cohn is such a good model to emulate because it went so well for him.

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And going back to Jennifer's point, how would Mike Pompeo ask questions in an environment where there's really no strong presiding judge and you have a chief justice who doesn't really control things?

That Q&A, before we got to the crazy part with the map, was also insane. She asked a legitimate question, to where he said, I defended every State Department employee, and she said, legitimately, when did you defend Marie Yovanovitch. He repeats his conclusionary statement.

[13:55:06]

So it is either a lie or it is not a lie. But he doesn't answer questions directly, even if he knows it is going to be on the record and recorded.

COOPER: Yes.

The president's defense team laying out their case against impeachment. What they argued, what came up today.

Back in a moment.

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BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer, live in Washington, alongside Anderson Cooper. This is CNN special coverage of the historic impeachment trial of President Trump Donald J. Trump.