Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
Trial Timeline Extended; Interview With Rep. Katie Porter (D- CA); Democratic Representative Boos Hillary Clinton At Sanders Campaign Event; U.S. Declares Coronavirus A Public Health Emergency; Democrats Blast GOP For Refusing To Hear Bolton Testimony. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired February 1, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Happening now, trial extend. Senate Republicans and the White House now are looking at waiting until Wednesday for a final vote acquitting President Trump. That is after the Iowa caucuses and even after President Trump State of the Union speech. We're learning new details about the behind-the-scene talks that led us to this point.
Booing Hillary. Just days before the Iowa caucuses, a bitter Democrat split is out in the open after a congresswoman boos Hillary Clinton during a rally for Senator Bernie Sanders. Are the Democrats spoiling their chances of winning back the White House?
And preparing for the virus. The Pentagon orders military housing be made ready for up to a thousand people who may need to be quarantined for the Coronavirus. While only eight people in the U.S. are confirmed to have it so far, a frightening new report from China says some 75,000 may have contracted the virus. Can officials stop it from spreading?
Wolf Blitzer is on assignment. I'm Brianna Keilar. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Tonight, there's fresh reaction from Democrats and Republicans as the timeline for President Trump's Impeachment Trial has shifted with an end now expected on Wednesday. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who was a key vote against calling witnesses, says he thinks President Trump's conduct was improper and crossed the line, but it wasn't bad enough to merit removal from office. Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are heaping criticism on the Republicans' decision to wind up the trial without witnesses.
We're also live in Iowa, where this weekend, before the first-in-the- nation caucuses has exposed a dramatic split between establishment Democrats and supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who supports Sanders, booed Hillary Clinton during a Sanders' rally, provoking criticism and also praise. We'll discuss all of the developments with Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter, who supports Elizabeth Warren for president.
And our correspondents and analysts have full coverage of the day's top story. Let's begin now with CNN's Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju. And, Manu, what are you learning about the decision to stretch out this Impeachment Trial to the middle of next week?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House and Senate -- many Senate Republicans have been pushing to get the president acquitted by the time of his Tuesday State of the Union address where he could use that forum to tout his acquittal. But there were some Republicans and many Democrats who wanted their opportunity to speak on the Senate floor. Democrats would not allow that acquittal to happen before Tuesday.
RAJU And now, also, Republicans continue to defend their decision to block any witnesses in the president's Impeachment Trial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does it feel to be leaving during the trial after no resolution?
RAJU (voice-over): Tonight, a bitterly divided Senate taking a break, as Republicans push for a swift end to President Trump's historic Impeachment Trial. After ignoring Democratic complaints that they are holding a sham trial, Republicans have now set a schedule that virtually ensure Trump is cleared a day after his State of the Union address next week.
Monday, at 11:00 a.m., closing arguments for the Democratic impeachment managers and President Trump's lawyers for two hours each. After that, regular Senate business, allowing senators to deliver floor speeches about their decisions over whether to convict the president. Culminating Wednesday, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, the final vote on whether to remove or acquit President Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Today, Democrats emotions still raw after Republicans voted largely along party lines, against hearing from any witnesses or issuing subpoenas for scores of documents blocked by the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's deeply disappointing.
RAJU: Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeting, it is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the chief justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation's judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mrs. Feinstein, aye. Ms. Ernst, no.
RAJU: In Friday's dramatic vote, two Republicans, Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, voted to hear from witnesses, including former national security advisor, John Bolton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yays are 49. The nays are 51.
RAJU: But the other 51 Republicans voted to block the effort, with many arguing that no matter what the witnesses said, their testimony would not amount to an impeachable offense.
(on camera): Do you think the president acted appropriately in his dealings with Ukraine?
SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Since the beginning, I there were -- it was not a perfect phone call. And it was elements that were not entirely appropriate.
But they're not even close to rising to the level of impeachment.
RAJU: Why no witnesses, though?
TOOMEY: Because they don't add anything that is necessary at this point.
RAJU (voice-over): But many Republicans and the White House wanted Trump cleared last night, so he could use Tuesday's State of the Union address to boast about his acquittal. Yet, some Senate Republicans and most Democrats demanded a chance to speak on floor. That means President Trump will still be on trial while delivering the nationally televised address.
The delay also allows the four Democratic senators running for president to campaign in Iowa today and tomorrow, ahead of the crucial Iowa caucuses Monday night. Now, the focus is on whether any senators buck their party on the final vote, including three moderate Democrats who have not ruled out acquittal.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: It's a very hard decision. It's very -- it's the most serious decision that any senator will ever make in their career.
RAJU (on camera): OK.
MANCHIN: And every one -- every senator wishes they didn't have to make this decision.
RAJU (live): And that key swing vote, Lamar Alexander, the Republican from Tennessee, who ultimately voted against moving forward, and witnesses that decisive vote, continues to defend his decision. He told me, yesterday, he does not think an error in judgment amounts to anything that could lead to high crimes and misdemeanors. So, he criticized the president. But he said it's not an impeachable offense. And he made that case, again today, in a televised interview.
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC ANCHOR: What do you believe he did?
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: What I believe he did, one, was that he called the president of Ukraine and asked him to become involved in investigating Joe Biden who was -- TODD: You believe his wrongdoing began there, not before?
TODD: Not before?
ALEXANDER: I don't know about that. But he admitted that. The president admitted that. He released the transcript, you said, on television.
The second thing was, at least in part, he delayed the military and other assistance to Ukraine, in order to encourage that investigation. Those are the two things he did. I think he shouldn't have done it. I think it was wrong. Inappropriate was the way I'd say, improper, crossing the line.
What he did is a long way from treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors. I don't think it's the kind of inappropriate action that the framers would expect the Senate to substitute its judgment for the people in picking a president.
RAJU: Now, the only question that is left is what is going to happen on that Wednesday acquittal vote, and whether there will be any members who will break ranks. Republicans, too, could -- potentially, they break ranks. I asked Mitt Romney, who voted to go forward with witnesses, whether he would vote to acquit or convict the president, if he's made a decision yet. He said, no comment.
KEILAR: All right. We will be watching, Manu. Thank you so much for that.
President Trump is spending the weekend at his resort in Florida. And CNN White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond is there. So, Jeremy, the president won't get this victory lap before his State of the Union Address on Tuesday. What are you learning about the discussions with the White House on this timeline?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Brianna, President Trump and his aides had been looking forward to the State of the Union address as an opportunity for the president to walk into the House of Representatives that had impeached him, a newly-vindicated man. Of course, for that to have happened, the president would have needed to be acquitted by the Senate before that trial.
That is, clearly, not going to happen. And, yesterday, the president spoke with the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and signed off on that resolution that will see his acquittal likely come on Wednesday. Now, the question now becomes how the president will respond to that acquittal.
We know that the last president to have been acquitted in the Senate on impeachment charges, Bill Clinton, actually went out to the Rose Garden, apologized to the nation. Said he was profoundly sorry for his conduct. I have been speaking with sources close to the president today, Brianna, and they say not to expect anything of the sort from this president.
Instead, it appears that the president will not be making any acts of contrition. Instead, we expect, and this is what my sources are telling me, that the president will, instead, be talking about how perfect his conduct was. Something that, of course, has been a familiar refrain from the president throughout this process -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Jeremy, thank you so much for that report from Florida.
And we're also following some new revelations about the paper trial, relating to the Ukraine aid freeze. The Justice Department waited until nearly midnight to admit e-mails exist about President Trump's role in this freeze.
We have CNN Crime and Justice Reporter here with us. Tell us what these documents reveal.
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, this is the first formal acknowledge, from the administration, that there are e- mails within the administration, showing what the president's decision making was between June of last year and September of last year. Now, these documents have be withheld from Congress and the public. And there's been a private group going after them, in response to this lawsuit from this Petter (ph) group, trying to get access even after the trial is ending.
The administration is saying, in court, that the documents in this category are e-mails that reflect communications by either the president, the vice president or the president's immediate advisers, regarding presidential decision making about the scope, duration and purpose of the hold on military assistance in Ukraine.
KEILAR: So, why -- I mean, why are we only learning about it now, right?
POLANTZ: Right. It's because we have this private lawsuit. Now, this -- the Senate and the House, both, considered trying to get the documents. The House had subpoenaed for them and they were unable to get them. They didn't take it to court.
And, instead, there's been a slow trickle of information coming out about what the administration is refusing to show to Congress, during the Impeachment Trial, throughout the entire process. And it's going to continue on.
We're still going to see more. And, in fact, Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said today that, in response to this revolution, every single Republican senator voted to endorse the White House cover up of these potentially important truth-revealing e-mails. He said, make no mistake, the full truth will eventually come out and Republicans will have to answer for why they were so determined to enable the president to hide it. KEILAR: Wow. All right, Katelyn, thank you so much for that report.
Katelyn Polantz, we appreciate it.
And joining me now to discuss all of this and more is Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California. And she is also a co-chair for the Elizabeth Warren campaign.
Congresswoman, thank you for joining us.
REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): My pleasure.
KEILAR: OK. So, not only are we learning more from John Bolton, but, also, we're learning about these new documents from OMB as well. Was it a mistake, do you think in retrospect, for Democrats in the House to pass this to the Senate so quickly and to not have subpoenaed John Bolton?
PORTER: The Democrats worked really hard to collect the best and most evidence that we could at the time. We tried to subpoena additional people. Those subpoenas were routinely ignored. And we know the president directed people to defy those subpoenas. We made document requests that were ignored.
So, I think, with the information that we had, we made repeated requests to get more information. When we weren't successful, we ultimately built the strongest case we could. And, then, sent it over to the Senate, where I think the House impeachment managers did an excellent job of making it clear to the American people why additional evidence was necessary. And we see that reflected, 75 percent of Americans wanted to understand more about what the president's conduct was. And I think the Senate should have honored that, the will of the people.
KEILAR: If the House had subpoenaed John Bolton, do you think, in retrospect, there would have been a better case to be made in the Senate, that might have been tougher for Republicans to, say -- some Republicans, at least enough Republicans, to say no to?
PORTER: It's hard to look back at that kind of thing and second guess it, particularly when we're seeing Republican senators, essentially, saying it doesn't matter what he did. We just aren't going to impede -- we're not going to remove the president. We're not going to take that vote. It's an election year. We're just not going to do it be.
And they're, basically, saying to this president and setting a very dangerous precedent for this country that it doesn't matter what the president does. If you do it close enough to election, they'll look the other way.
KEILAR: I wonder -- since we are close to the election, I wonder, since President Trump is the first impeached president to run for a re-election, do you worry that you may have handed him a powerful weapon that he can be on a campaign trail and say, look, I've been vindicated. This was all a hoax. Is that a concern of yours?
PORTER: I'm part of a historic class of people that were elected in 2018, precisely because of concerns about the president's conduct. I represent a majority Republican district and the first Democrat to represent this area in several decades. And so many of my colleagues are in the same situation. And so, we were sent there to be a check on the president. To do our job of making sure that the checks and balances of the government are working.
And so, I think we can and should expect, in this upcoming election, the president's conduct will be part of the election process. And it should be. The American people should ask themselves, is this the kind of leader that they want for the next four years?
KEILAR: You are gearing up for this next week. You, actually, are originally from Iowa, even though you represent Orange County, California, which is my home county I should say. You are campaigning in Iowa for Elizabeth Warren. And, as you've been doing that, I wonder -- in these final moments going into the caucuses, I want to play for you one of them. This happened during a campaign event, actually, for Senator Sanders. This is your Democratic colleague, Rashida Tlaib, when Hillary Clinton was brought up. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
We're not going to boo. We're classy here.
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: I'll boo. Boo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: This is revealing a huge split in your party. Is this concerning to you?
PORTER: It's really important and incumbent upon me, as one of the national co-chairs for Elizabeth Warren, to make clear that this cycle of criticism, this cycle of revisiting 2016, rather than putting your eyes squarely ahead on 2020, has to stop. I've been on the ground in Iowa.
I've been on the ground week after week here, of course, with my constituents in Orange County, California. And they want to talk about the future that this country is going to hold. They want to talk about what someone is going to do in 2020 to beat Donald Trump. What somebody is going to do in 2022 to help their family make ends meet. They want to talk about reform in Washington.
They want to talk about prescription drugs and health care. They want candidates that can unify the Democratic Party, and Elizabeth Warren is that candidate. And, in her own remarks, she made clear, today, that she has felt a key lead (ph), some of her tremendous Senate colleagues. Folks like Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker, that she's been sad to see them leave the race, because they've each made an important contribution.
So, I'm proud to be part of the campaign that is going to make sure that we're laying a foundation that unifies the Democratic Party and gives us the best chance to beat Donald Trump in November.
KEILAR: Congresswoman Katie Porter of California, thank you so much for being with us.
PORTER: Thank you.
KEILAR: Up next, not everyone is condemning the congresswoman booing Hillary Clinton. The key player who is telling Tlaib, don't change.
Plus, it hasn't happened in 50 years. The rare and serious step the U.S. is taking, as the deadly Coronavirus continues to spread.
KEILAR: This high-stakes weekend, before the Iowa caucuses, is playing out against the backdrop of President Trump's Impeachment Trial.
So, let's talk now with our panel about this. We have our political correspondents and our analysts here to weigh in. And, Dana Bash, to you first, where you are in a somewhat cold and snowy Iowa or at least there's been some snow there.
So, this Impeachment Trial is going to be resuming here Monday morning, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not have the votes to acquit the president last night. Help us understand what's been going on behind the scenes. I know you're in Iowa but you've, obviously, been working your sources here.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And just -- I was in the Capitol last night, when this all went down. And so, the long of the short of it is that the Republican leader and, maybe more importantly, at this point, the president at the White House, didn't have the votes because there -- to do it at that time late last night which is what we went into yesterday thinking was going to happen.
Because there were a number of senators in the president's own party who wanted to talk. Who wanted -- they've been sitting on the Senate floor for two weeks listening and they wanted to take the time to get on the record to speak so that their constituents back home and, frankly, people who are looking at this in many, many years through the lens of history, will know where they were coming from.
So, the combination of that and Democrats not being all that eager to hurry up and get this acquittal done. They decided to come back on Monday, have closing arguments. Tuesday is the day that you're going to hear the senators make those speeches on the Senate floor. And Wednesday will be the acquittal.
But what this means is that there's going to be State of the Union in between there on Tuesday night which is exactly what the president did not want. He wanted to be acquitted before that. It's not happening.
KEILAR: It's not happening. It's just so odd that senators would want to talk, Dana. I mean, to think of that.
Manu, what are you -- right? I chuckled when you said that because I thought -- Manu, speak to that. No. But, also, just what are you expecting, as we go into this week?
RAJU: Yes. I mean, look, you -- Dana is absolutely right that senators do want to have a chance to talk. But this has been a very difficult exercise for a lot of them. Not just not speaking during the trial but actually being in attendance for five, six days a week.
Typically, as you know, Brianna, the senators get in Monday night. They leave Thursday afternoon. They are rarely on floor. They are on the floor when it's time to vote. That's about it. And this exercise has really changed that.
And that's probably one reason why a lot of them were eager to see this wrapped up. There was concern if there wasn't going to be witnesses on the Republican side. That it's going to drag out for some time. And that's why that really -- that argument really resonated with a lot of them.
So, what we'll have to look, for the next couple of days, is where some of the handful of moderate Republicans and Democrats will come. If they break ranks, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Doug Jones on the Democratic side. And Republicans, like Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, that they actually will vote not along the party line. That will be the question, ultimately. But we know what the outcome is going to be.
KEILAR: These senators, I bet they've probably spent more time on the Senate floor, in these couple weeks, than they have maybe for the entire year. But, Chris, I want to ask you about, after the Senate voting against subpoenaing witnesses, there was this late-night court filing.
And it revealed that the Trump administration is actually blocking two dozen e-mails about the president's involvement in withholding aid from Ukraine. What does -- what does that say about, sort of, the state of -- ideally, in this country, these kinds of things should be flushed out. What does that say about the state of things?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR AT LARGE: Well, I mean, throughout the past week, it felt like -- I hesitate to use the word bombshell. But, I mean, the Bolton book or what's been reported about the manuscript, there's a lot in there that felt like, OK, well, this will change things. Well, maybe this will change things. But the truth of the matter is, that clip that you played at the top with Lamar Alexander, I think, is very indicative. Which is, yes, I think we all look at it.
I'll speak for myself. I look at it and think, yes, I mean, there's, obviously, something going on here. Like, if you didn't know yet, it certainly seems like they're working actively to cover these things up. At the same time, and Manu knows this better than me, they're still, probably, aren't -- if they held that vote tomorrow, there still probably are not enough votes for witnesses. And there are certainly not enough votes for removal. Why? Because the Republican Party is tribal with Trump. They are ride or die with Donald Trump, politically speaking. And nothing is going to get in the way of that. Lamar Alexander is a perfect example of that. You know, a guy who, essentially, says, yes, I think he probably did some stuff he shouldn't have done.
That said, I don't think it's a high crime and misdemeanor.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, and what they're doing, Brianna, is they -- it's what we all expected going in but it's been made plain by events. They work backwards from the idea that they were going to shield Donald Trump, to what they had to do along that path. And before the impeachment started, they said -- after the news of the whistle-blower broke, they said, a quid pro quo, that would be terrible. But they haven't shown that it's a quid pro quo.
Now, they've gotten to a position -- now that the Democrats have shown that there was a quid pro quo and they acknowledged that, they say, well, OK, quid pro quo.
But that's not impeachable. Facts are not the Republicans friends here. What they've been trying to do is make this situation as painless as possible. And I do think that -- Dana's point about the senators wanting to talk. That has some risks for them. Because one of the reasons they want to talk is to justify their vote. One of the ways they justify their vote is to say, well, it wasn't impeachable but it was bad.
And, if that's the case, then, if Democrats lay down a censure resolution, what are they going to do on that? Are they going to stand up -- since they don't have to face the choice of throwing him out of office or doing nothing, but they could censure him, are they going to say no to that? Odds are they will but they may pay a price for it.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, I agree with all of that. I thought it was almost paradoxical that the stronger the case that the House managers presented, the less they wanted to hear from any other witnesses. And it was interesting, Lamar Alexander said, I don't have to hear from any other witnesses.
I know what happened. In other words, we know the president did what he was accused of doing. And so, we don't need to hear from John Bolton. But I agree with John. I would press very hard for a censure resolution.
And they could do it, not for political reasons, although, you can't ever separate that. They should do it because if the president it acquitted and they acknowledge that he did things that were wrong, then how do you hold him accountable here for in the future and for -- and how do you hold future presidents accountable, if there's no official statement. Do a few words of disapprobation on the Senate record count? I don't -- I don't think so. So, this is awkward.
But, look, it was awkward from the beginning. McConnell's thing was, let's bull through it. They're going to bull through it. And the president will, no matter what happens, claim vindication. And it'll be up to the American people to decide.
One other point on the -- on your original question about these senators. What could be more cruel? Someone should have asked the chief justice whether binding these guys to their desks and gals, particularly those running for president, would constitute a cruel and unusual punishment? The ability -- to force them to sit there silently, which is an natural act for politicians, it just -- it must have been torture for them.
KEILAR: OK, come on. It's an unnatural act for everyone sitting here, too. I just want to point that out. There should -- I don't want to -- we can't say that without irony.
BASH: I don't think there's -- I don't think there's a lot of sympathy after what (INAUDIBLE.)
KEILAR: All right, you all stand --
BASH: Not a lot of sympathy out there (INAUDIBLE.)
KEILAR: All right, stand by. We have a whole lot more to talk about. Because there's a big Democratic divide that is on display just in time for the Iowa caucuses. We'll talk about that.
KEILAR: All right, we are back now with the analysis on this with our panel.
I want to discuss something that we saw happen, all of you in Iowa. This was a tense moment at a Bernie Sanders event featuring Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iowa, we have three days. I don't remember if you guys remember last week when someone by the name of Hillary Clinton said that nobody -- we're not going to boo, we're not going to boo. We're classy here.
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): Oh, no, I'll boo. Boo.
TLAIB: You all know I can't be quiet. No, we're going to boo. That's all right. The haters -- the haters will shut up on Monday when we win. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Okay, so for context, because it's important here, this came after Hillary Clinton said about Sanders in an upcoming documentary, among other things, "Nobody likes him. Nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done."
And then she also offered up this criticism in a new podcast. Let's listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was no question about who was going to be the nominee, but unfortunately, you know, his campaign and his principal supporters were just very difficult all the way up until the end.
A lot of people highly identified with his campaign were urging people to vote third party, urging people not to vote. It had an impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Dana Bash, you're there in Iowa. Big day, big day coming up that Democrats have been waiting for. This couldn't come at a better time.
BASH: Listen, Brianna, you were here four years ago. You lived the original version of this movie, right? Covering Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. There is no love lost between them and more importantly, their supporters, and that was what you saw on display at that event last night.
But you also saw, yes, the Congresswoman, you know, said that she is happy to boo, but you also saw instantaneously I thought the way I saw it, the people on the stage trying to say, whoa, whoa, whoa, even Pramila Jayapal, she sort of winced when it happened. They saw the train coming as that moment occurred.
One of the -- a significant Sanders supporter said to me today, that the way they see those comments from Hillary Clinton over the -- pair of comments -- is like the progressive version of the deplorables and that is the undercurrent that is, you know, beneath what you saw last night. It has not gone away, even though she is not running.
KEILAR: David, I just wonder, this really, I just want to know all of your reactions to this -- David Axelrod?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think, she has legitimate points about how some of the Sanders supporters dealt with the General Election in 2016. The question is, what is the impact of her making these comments now, right on the doorstep of the Iowa caucuses?
AXELROD: And, you know, I actually think she's helping Bernie Sanders in the sense that she is arousing his supporters, because we know that at this juncture, it's enthusiasm that is important, driving your people to the polls.
She's waving the red flag in front of them. And I think in the short term, they probably welcome it. In the long term, Bernie Sanders has to unify the party if he is going to be the nominee.
And so these blows may be harmful to him, but it is it is an odd time for Secretary Clinton to intervene in this race.
And you know, she says, look, everybody wanted me to speak my mind, I'm speaking my mind. And that's true, but the timing is sort of interesting.
KEILAR: Yes, it's a few years late, John.
HARWOOD: It was a selfish thing for Hillary Clinton to say, and it was a selfish thing for Rashida Tlaib to do in that audience. Both of those comments made themselves feel better. They felt good saying those things.
But from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, it was strategically stupid because they've got to bring the party together if they're going to win.
CILLIZZA: I agree with Axe. I honestly think if Bernie Sanders -- and I kind of agree with John -- Rashida Tlaib makes the story about her, okay, which isn't great.
That said, anything that Hillary Clinton says where Bernie Sanders doesn't have any friends, nobody likes him. He screwed up the election. I mean, the Bernie Sanders folks have always from 2016 on viewed it as us versus everybody, right? It's us versus the entire establishment.
All that Hillary stuff does is convince them that they're right. Now, the problem is the access point. If he is the nominee, now you have the reverse of what you had in 2016. Will the establishment come under it?
RAJU: What's remarkable about this is some of the most vicious exchanges in this entire presidential campaign had been about Hillary Clinton.
RAJU: She is not even running. This has been actually a remarkably simple primary campaign. And of course, it could change as this drags on for some time, but it shows how much emotion she still elicits from particularly the Bernie Sanders camp.
KEILAR: Hillary Clinton is not running in this election, Manu, thank you for clarifying that. Yes, David?
AXELROD: There's another aspect to this, though. I actually think, you know, Bernie Sanders, by all accounts is surging in Iowa. We're going to hear the Des Moines Register poll tonight, generally, the most respected and most accurate poll in a very hard to poll environment, so we'll see.
But the general sense is, he is surging there, and that is actually I think, driven people to confront the possibility that he might be the nominee.
And so, as he does better, he also may help Biden or if people go to Biden as sort of a safe harbor against the prospect of a Sanders' candidacy.
So there are a lot of complicated dynamics going on here.
KEILAR: All right, you all, thank you so much. We have a quick programming note. We will be revealing the final CNN-Des Moines Register poll numbers ahead -- as you heard Axe say there -- of the Iowa caucuses during the CNN special event coming up in just a few hours.
Be sure to watch at 9:00 Eastern tonight. That is only on CNN.
And coming up, there are nearly 12,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but researchers say that number could actually be six times higher.
Plus, the Senate may not hear John Bolton's testimony, but you'll be able to read all about it in his book of what he knows, ahead.
KEILAR: We've just learned, the Pentagon is preparing military housing for 1,000 people because for the first time in 50 years, the U.S. has imposed a mandatory quarantine, 14 days for Americans who visited the province at the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus.
The U.S. has now banned foreign nationals who have recently visited China with nearly 12,000 people infected worldwide.
Joining me now is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is the Director of the NIH and he is an Infectious Disease expert. Thank you so much for being with us. This is so important. So many people -- this is what they're talking about. This is what they're concerned about.
This is a rare step, this travel ban, to impose this mandatory quarantine of Americans. Why is this essential in your view? And what makes this virus so dangerous?
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIH: Well, certainly the virus is dangerous because we are seeing the havoc that's going on in China.
The cases that came into this country were individuals who were traveling from Wuhan here. I mean, obviously, we've had a situation where there's been a secondary case, the risk is still relatively low here in the country. The reason the travel ban and the situation you just described has
taken place and announced yesterday, we want to keep that risk low. Because we know that when people come into the country who are infected, that's how you get the seeding of infection and the spread.
As we've seen in over 20 countries throughout the world where you have travel related cases from China to those countries, 11 of those countries have additional cases that contracted from those individuals.
So I know it's a very dramatic thing to do. It hasn't been done, really, in any previous history, for us, at least at the United States. But we think it's important, at least from a temporary standpoint, to do that, to keep Americans safe.
KEILAR: How deadly is the virus?
FAUCI: Well, you know that the mortality is somewhere between two and three percent, probably closer to two percent.
Now, some people may think that's low, but you know, the flu that we have seasonally is only 0.1 percent. So when you have a lot of people infected, which we're starting to see that escalation, even a two percent mortality is extremely high.
KEILAR: So what can Americans do? What can people do to try to keep themselves safe?
FAUCI: Like right now they really don't do need to do anything other than remember, we're in the middle of a flu season, and the kinds of protections they do with themselves, very simple, handwashing, avoiding crowds where people coughing and sneezing will protect you against flu.
And if in fact, we do have more cases that could potentially spread this new virus, those same types of just pure public health measures can protect you against transmission and getting infected.
KEILAR: So you've said that a person who isn't showing any symptoms can still spread the virus and that the accuracy of the test for coronavirus is actually unknown at this point. How difficult does it make it considering that to try to contain this?
FAUCI: Well, first of all, the test is accurate if you are infected. What happens is that if you get a positive test, there's no doubt that that's positive and you're infected.
The concern is that some people may be at a stage of infection where the test may not yet tell you that person is infected. And yes, there are a lot of asymptomatic people. That makes screening much more difficult.
And that's the reason why with the volume of people who are coming into the country, that we feel it might be the better part of valor and very prudent to just slowdown that input, at least for the period of time, temporarily, not a permanent but something that we need to do to see the direction in which this outbreak is going.
KEILAR: Dr. Fauci, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
FAUCI: Good to be with you.
KEILAR: Coming up. Both Democrats and Republicans await new revelations from former National Security adviser, John Bolton, even though he won't be testifying at President Trump's impeachment trial.
KEILAR: Even though John Bolton won't be testifying at President Trump's Senate trial, what he has to say in his upcoming book is sure to be reverberating long after the final vote on impeachment.
CNN's Brian Todd actually has some more on Bolton's potential bombshells. Tell us.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Brianna. Tonight, we have new insights into John Bolton's highly charged revelations. They include a new account of allegedly an earlier attempt than we ever knew by President Trump to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rivals.
And according to Bolton, Trump wanted him to be a key player in the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TODD (voice over): He's been that most prominent ghost of the impeachment process, not called to testify in House hearings, blocked by Republican senators from testifying at the trial.
But former National Security adviser, John Bolton's latest revelations of President Trump's dealings with Ukraine have exploded in Washington.
According to an unpublished manuscript by Bolton, reported by "The New York Times," President Trump directed Bolton in early May of last year to help pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political opponents.
Bolton says Trump told him to call Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to make sure Zelensky would meet with Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
That order from Trump to Bolton, more than two months before Trump's fateful call with the Ukrainian President, it would be the earliest known instance of Trump trying to exert political pressure on Ukraine to find dirt on Trump's opponents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) A.B. STODDARD, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: The revelations we have seen so
far are pretty explosive. He is a fact witness, the closest we could have heard so far in the Democrats' case to a firsthand account with the President, firsthand testimony about a shakedown in Ukraine.
He is the most damning witness because he's closest to the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD (voice-over): CNN has not seen a copy of Bolton's manuscript. According to "The Times," the manuscript says that when Trump gave that order to Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and White House counsel, Pat Cipollone were in the room.
Trump denies giving Bolton that order, in a statement saying, "I never instructed John Bolton to set up a meeting for Rudy Giuliani to meet with President Zelensky. That meeting never happened."
According to "The Times," Bolton writes that he never made that call to President Zelensky. But that's not Bolton's only new revelation.
According to "The Times," Bolton says in a forthcoming book that Trump told him last summer that he wanted to keep holding back American military aid to Ukraine until Ukraine investigated Trump's political rivals.
But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to rebut that, saying the President had legitimate reasons for holding back aid to Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: When we were talking about, hey, does it make sense to continue to provide this assistance to Ukraine, he had valid concerns about how we were going to do it and how we would protect America if we did do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD (voice-over): Bolton's latest revelations and House testimony from his former aide, Fiona Hill, paint a portrait of a National Security adviser who was in on many of the critical conversations at the heart of the impeachment scandal, a man who confided in his aides his concern about the Trump team's pressure on Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIONA HILL, FORMER WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIAL: He, then in the course of that discussion, said that Rudy Giuliani was a hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD (voice-over): But without any impeachment testimony from John Bolton, will any of his revelations matter?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STODDARD: It's true that if the worst revelations have already been
reported, it might just fizzle out, overtaken by other events.
TODD: Still the White House has attempted to block John Bolton from publishing his book, saying it contains classified information.
Rudy Giuliani has denied to "The New York Times" that that earlier conversation with Trump allegedly ordering Bolton to contact the Ukrainian President ever took place.
And Giuliani says Mick Mulvaney and Pat Cipollone were never involved in any meetings on Ukraine. Mick Mulvaney has not commented -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Brian, thank you so much for that report. And next week, senators will have their say in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump and up next, we'll talk to one senator who said yesterday was a "bad night for democracy."
KEILAR: Happening now, trial timeline. Behind the scenes drama leads to an extraordinary confluence of events that now has President Trump poised to be acquitted in his impeachment trial the day after the State of the Union speech and two days after the Iowa Caucuses.
Tonight, new details on what the President is expected to say.
Booing battle. The Democratic divide deepens ahead of the Iowa caucuses as Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib boos Hillary Clinton during a campaign event for Bernie Sanders. No apology so far, and tonight the Clinton camp is speaking out.