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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  November 21, 2019 3:00am-5:16am PST

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mom you've got to [ get yourself a new car.g ] i wish i could save faster. you're making good choices. you'll get there. ♪ were you going to tell me about this? i know i can't afford to go. i still have this car so you can afford to go. i am so proud of you. thanks. principal. we can help you plan for that. start today at principal.com. sadly, we have a president who is not only a pathological liar, he's the most corrupt president in the united states. >> i learned that donald trump doesn't want me to be the nominee, that's pretty clear. >> this is a president that not only with regard to his conduct with ukraine, but every step of the way puts his own private
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interests, his own partisan interests, his own political interests in front of our country's interests. >> we have to establish the principle no one is above the law. we have a constitutional responsibility and weapon need to meet it. how did ambassador sondland get there? this is not a man who had any qualifications except one, he wrote a check for a million dollars. and that tells us about what's happening in washington. >> we have a criminal living in the white house. ambassador sondland by his own words told us that everyone was in the loop. that means it is a criminal enterprise engaged in by the president, from what we heard today, the vice president, the secretary of state, and the chief of staff. >> okay. the impeachment hearings first topic of last night's democratic debate. joining us now senior adviser movon.org and karine jean-pierre. we are working all hours, so --
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>> what was your take of the debate last night, winners, losers? what did we learn? >> first, shoutout to the female moderators, they did a great job. we should probably have female moderators for the rest of the debate. i think that there were key moments, but i don't know if there was a clear winner. but i thought amy klobuchar, kamala harris, cory booker, pete buttigieg had some very interesting moments there if the was substantive debate and it was different than any of the other debates. there wasn't one person that was getting all of the attacks. you had a lot of two-offs in the debate. the one thing that truly bothered me was tulsi gabbard. arc and what i mean by that she seems to think that our sole goal is to attack other democrats, and yet it may get her some points up in iowa and new hampshire, but it's not going to win her the nomination. and i think kamala harris and
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pete buttigieg did a great job defending against her attacks. >> i think we had been speculate ngts days before whether pete buttigieg who's surging in the polls quickly in iowa but there's a new one where he's doing well. in warren was doing well, she took the brunt of the assaults. that didn't really happen last night. he took a few in the end but candidates pulled their punches and didn't go after him hard. there were good moments for a lot of candidates. senator klobuchar had a good night. senator booker's closing statement about lewis was powerful. i don't think the field will change that much after last night. i think it reinforces a lot of what people thought. but that does include questions about former vice president biden who did appear shaky at times. >> at times? >> several. >> which time in the time he was talking about stopping domestic violence where you've got to punch it, and punch it, and
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punch it. >> three times. >> or when he talked about the only black woman to ever be in the senate endorsing him. or this moment. this was his opening statement. >> look, the next president of the united states will have to do two things. defeat donald trump, that's number one, and number two, going to have to make -- be able to go into states like georgia and north carolina and other places and get a senate majority. that's what i'll do. you have to ask yourself up here, who is most likely to be able to win the nomination in the first place -- to win the presidency in the first place and secondly, who is most likely to increase the number of people who are democrats in the house and in the senate? and, by the way, i learned something about these impeachment trials. i learned, number one, that donald trump doesn't want me to be the nominee. that's pretty clear. he held up aid to make sure that while at the same time innocent people in the country are get being killed by russian soldiers. secondly i found out that
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vladimir putin doesn't want me to be president. >> of course, willie, he's struggling there. he's closing his eyes. he knows he's having trouble finding words. the sentences are jumbled, the words are jumbled. i just worried when i read -- you see this and, listen, i'm just saying, i think biden has the best chance of beating trump. i do. like if he's on his game. but i just wonder, is the media grading joe biden on a scale? are we afraid to say that a lot of his sentences don't make sense? that he's having trouble completing thoughts? that when he's asked in a previous debate about afghanistan an issue he knows more about than anybody, not only on that stage, but in washington, d.c., he ends up stumbling through an answer on iraq. are we grading him on a scale the same way people have always graded donald trump on a scale in these debates? >> yes. the answer is yes. i mean -- >> is that smart for democrats do? how is he going to do -- this
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has been a leisurely pace for joe biden. >> right. >> as jonathan was saying last night, compared to what happens starting in january and through the entire year. >> objectively, yes, those performances publicly are shaky. particularly in the debates. but, the other side of that, jonathan, is the american people are watching this too and look how he's doing, right? he's still hanging in. he's right there in iowa, he's right there in new hampshire, he's way ahead in south carolina. in nevada he's lead as well. the american people are watching and probably making calculation that joe has made. he just turned 77 yesterday, doesn't look good in the debates but i believe in my heart that he's the man that can beat donald trump and that's my bottom line objective. it shows up in polls. elizabeth warren has surged, no question. pete buttigieg has surged. bernie sanders still doing very well and performing well in debates. but joe biden for all his flaws and for all his performances that we've seen another one last
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night, he's still right there and he's still the guy a lot of democrats think can beat donald trump. >> and his place in the polls has stabilized in recent weeks. >> he's pretty dominating now. >> national polls are doing well, he's doing great in south carolina. this is -- there are growing concerns among democrats in terms of whether he's up for this. as joe and i was just saying, like the pace is only going to pick up. the campaign is largely other than these debates kept him out of a lot of big public moments and the public eye. but when it rolls to january and three weeks to iowa and the break neck pace to the primaries and if he is the nominee through the president election, president trump we could say he ran a robust campaign schedule in 2016, he sushl will again. what are you hearing in terms of whether joe biden is up for the job? >> i've heard that they don't know if he's going to be -- this is the folks in my circle, right, the folks who are doing this behind the scenes and wondering can he do it once -- if he becomes the nominee and he's up against donald trump? and the thing is, here's -- i
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think is what voters are seeing. they want to beat donald trump. and right now even though buttigieg is surging, warren is surging, they don't see who else can beat donald trump. they feel like, well, you know, biden is the number two of vice president -- i'm sorry, president obama and they know him, they feel comfortable with him and they just don't see anyone just yet who can beat donald trump. and that is the -- it's the name i.d. that he has, it's the comfort and they cannot break from that. and i think that is the thing that other candidates are having a hard time breaking. >> and i think, you know, i feel a little defensive for him right now, actually, just watching him because this, you know, if you look at how he's doing, and you look at who he is and you look at his history personally and professionally, he is best suited for the job, one could argue. and, you know, whether his performance on a debate stage with 12 other people in 30 seconds or less is pitch
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perfect, i'm not sure it matters. and i think the voters who are engaged right now, they're really looking at those factors, who he is, ha his background is, what kind of a person he is. who do they want to beat trump? and who they want to lead this country and bring us back to some version, some semblance of normal. and so in some ways, you know, back to your point, joe, is he being graded differently? i almost think that the opposite is happening. and, you know, it's still a little bit too much a focus on those 30 second sound bites. >> you've got to be able to complete a sentence if you're running for president. >> yes. >> especially if it's the first sentence you do during a debate. i mean, he knows the question is coming. it was his opening statement. so, i mean, mike, of course if he is graded on the low curve, the reason why may in part be because he's running against a man who knows less about issues than anybody who was ever sat in
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the white house before and who is absolutely horrific at every debate when it came to policy and substance four years ago, and that's donald trump. >> look, joe biden's strength obviously is not standing on a stage with nine other candidates during a debate, it just isn't. >> i don't think it ever has been. >> his strength is, and you just nailed it, his strength is who he is and who people think he is when they look at him and when they measure him. and the thing for the democrats is, the question is are you willing to risk giving the nomination to someone who you really don't know whether he can beat or he or she can beat donald trump? and biden they figure, that might be their best shot. tom nichols, i don't know about your assessment of it, but what did you think about joe biden and the rest of the field last night? >> one of the things that's striking to me is we're grading biden on an unfair curve because we're gragd hding him against a imaginary joe biden who we seem
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to remember being really eloquent and capable as a speaker. he had a rough night at the outset, but was joe biden ever the kind of guy that finished sentences, you know, didn't get lost in his thoughts? this is kind of who he is, really. you know, he's -- i think he's missed a step, i think that's not the natural format for him for sure and i think actually the democratic party made a mistake. i've said it from the beginning with these, you know, overly inclusive debates that include people that are absolutely no hopers who just get to stand there and throw rocks like tulsi gabbard. so, you know, in some sense people know biden. i mean, he's not that different from the guy he was 20 or 25 years ago. he's always been gaff prone and a little uncertain. but i think, you know, mike's point is absolutely right. are you going to go with that or are you going to say, you know, once again we're going to lose
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100,000 votes in the rust belt, have a big electoral blowout and that's the big concern. >> all right. tom nichols, thank you so much for being on this morning. and coming up on "morning joe," three of the candidates on last night's debate stage, senator kamala harris, mayor pete buttigieg, and senator amy klobuchar, "morning joe" is coming back in two minutes. klobuchar, "morning joe" is coming back in twoin mutes.
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>> mr. president, what exactly did you hope zelensky with do with the bidens after the phone call, exactly? >> well, i would think that if they were honest about it they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens. >> wow, just reminder that last month he just said it out loud. >> that's the thing. he says things out loud. he says it about ukraine. he says it about china. he said it in his non transcript
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that we got to read. >> just read it. >> read it. >> welcome back to "morning joe," it is thursday, november 21st. still with joe, willie and me we have white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire and former aide to the george w. bush white house and state departments elise jordan. joining the conversation national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john heilman. he's the co-host and executive producer of show time's the issue is cuss. and columnist and associate editor for "the washington post," david ignatius is back with us this morning. at the very end of our show yesterday, we got the bombshell opening statement from u.s. ambassador to the european union gordon sondland. and hearing him deliver it was just as dramatic. here he is acknowledging a quid pro quo with ukraine while implicating the president, the vice president, and the secretary of state. >> secretary perry, ambassador
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volker, and i worked with mr. rudy giuliani on ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the united states. we did not want to work with mr. giuliani. simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt. we all understood that if we refused to work with mr. swro l giuliani, we would lose a very important opportunity to cement relations between the united states and ukraine. so we followed the president's orders. mr. giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky. mr. giuliani demanded that ukraine make a public statement announcing the investigations of the 2016 election dnc server and
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burisma. mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states and we knew these investigations were important to the president. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. >> i want to go back to the conversation you had with vice president pence right before that meeting in warsaw. and you indicated that you said to him that you were concerned that the delay in the aid was tied to the issue and investigations, is that right? >> i don't know exactly what i said to him in the was a briefing attended by many people and i was invited at the very last minute. i wasn't scheduled to be there. but i think i spoke up at some point late in the meeting and said, it looks like everything is being held up until these statements get made and that's my, you know, personal belief.
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>> and vice president pence just nodded his head? >> again, i don't recall any exchange or where he asked me any questions. i think it was sort of a duly noted -- >> well, he didn't say, gordon, what are you talking about? >> no, he did not. >> he didn't say, what investigations? >> he did not. we made every effort to ensure that the relevant decisionmakers at the national security council and the state department knew the important details of our efforts. the suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false. everyone was in the loop. it was no secret. i sent an email to counselor breckbull and lisa kenna. lisa kenna was frequently used
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as the pathway to secretary pompeo as sometimes he would prefer to get his emails sent through her. she would print them out and put them in front of him. with the subject of ukraine, i wrote, mike, referring to mike pompeo, kurt and i negotiated a statement from zelensky to be delivered for our review in a day or two. the contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough, the boss being the president, to authorize an invitation. zelensky plans to have a big presser, press conference, on the openness subject, including specifics next week. all of which referred to the 2016 and the burisma. ms. kenna replied, gordon, i'll pass to the secoretary. thank you. again, everyone was in the loop. >> david ignatius, everyone was
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in the loop. we were following the president's orders. what was your takeaway from yesterday's bombshell testimony, not only in the morning but also later in the afternoon? >> joe, there are days when you feel as if history is turning a little bit on its hinge, and yesterday was one of them. we will not look at this impeachment inquiry, i think, democrats or republicans, whatever our viewpoints, in quite the same way after this testimony. the lines stick in your memory and the answer is yes on the question of a quid pro quo. and then the one that you just mentioned, everyone was in the loop. sondland basically, in the mild demeanor, guy who was friendly to donald trump, got his job as a campaign contributor, game to congress having decided to tell the truth. he was not going to be one more person to go down defending
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donald trump's reputation. and his testimony just had that crackle of truth and impact. republicans, i thought, were really just didn't know what do with him. >> yeah. >> but i think this investigation, joe, now is on a somewhat different course. it's -- you can have more confidence that it's going to be steady. i thought the final telling point after the -- after that testimony of david hale in the late afternoon, what was the schiff's closing comments, that's not anticorruption, that's corruption over and over again. you can see the chairman sensing this say new phase of the investigation. >> he said this is a seminal moment in our investigation and the evidence you have brought forward is deeply significant and troubling. now my colleagues seem to think that unless the president says the magic words i hear by bribe the ukrainians, there is no
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evidence of bribery or other high crimes or misdemeanor. i must say, the republican defense, john heil plan, we'man talked about it before, makes no more sense than bank robbers saying we didn't get the money, we didn't use our guns, we didn't kill anybody because the police officers stormed in three minutes before while we were inside the bank, masked, ready to take the money, but they stormed in just to time to stop us. you know, jim jordan's argument was there's no quid pro quo because the announcement never happened, the meeting never happened, and the aid got released. all because they got caught. these republicans yesterday on the committee were forced to say that getting caught trying to commit a crime is a defense to that crime. >> right. and i think more than that, joe. and i agree with david in the
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sense that as we read that testimony here at the table yesterday, you could see what was happening. you could see that gordon sondland decided he was not going to go downtor donald trump a for donald trump and made a scapegoat in the classical mob trial that he was going to flip overon everyone on everyone. mike pompeo, john bolton, one of the people leading the united states government when all this went on, the attorney general, the president of the united states, there are not that many people at that very top level. sondland's ex-p sondland impla indicating all of them. you can see at the end of the first two hours it was clear what they were going to do, then they found their footing. and their footing in a condense that they seized on the argument that sondland had never heard
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the president say that he was exchanging -- basically building an arms for host ages, not arms for hostages, but that trade. >> for dirt. >> because he hadn't heard it directly from the president, they seized on that and went after him and after him. to me, it was watching in a very the same way that sondland laid bear the breadth and depth of the corruption of the united states government under donald trump in this moment just made it very clear that was the seminal moment on that side. on the republican side -- >> can i say on that front, he was saying what the president was saying to everybody, including the president of ukraine, talk to rudy, talk to rudy, rudy's running this. >> yeah. >> so for republicans to act stupid, wait -- >> this is my point. i don't think they're acting stupid. >> you think they are stupid? >> i do think that. but there's something nor fundamental to it. which is the same way sondland made clear how corrupt the administration is with the degree of clarity we've never seen before, you could see republicans at war with reality.
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deciding that their political interests, for whatever reason, is now to just deny what is now clear as the nose on your face and that they're willing to appear stupid in order to serve the dear leader. >> to deny the obvious, and you can look at, you know, elaine stefanik later in the hearings. she's going through the same thing and she's saying, willie, there's no aid. the aid got, you know, we received the aid and all of these things that happened many times happened on the day that the whistle-blower complaint got out. that is like chief wigham putting a gun in your back and then you quickly scribbling a note i'm not going to rob the bank, i'm not going to rob the bank. too late. they got busted. you don't get to declare your innocence after chief wigham and the springfield police department bust you robbing the
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bank. >> elise stefanik has become one of the face of the republicans defense of president trump. but the entire white house and that republican defense we saw yesterday, they think they really got something here, is the president calling on july 9th and talking to ambassador sondland and saying, i want nothing, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. he wrote it down on a card in sharpie yesterday and said are your cameras rolling? you can see it right there. i'll say again. the problem is on that same day, july the 9th, is when the whistle-blower report was delivered to the intel committee. the white house knows the game support, i better get on the record. >> he's been busted. >> and say explicitly that i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. >> but, he told zelensky, the president, that he did want a quid pro quo. i need something from you. i need the investigations of
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2016. i need the investigations into biden. biden, biden, biden. >> do us a favor, though. it's right there in the rough transcript of that call. this is -- the president is not able to distance himself from this no matter what he might say or scrawl on a notepad and sharpie. bringing that up, if you look at the picture image again, you can say this will be the final word of the united states. >> i cannot believe this. >> that resembles a sent list and it's a bold move to go with i want nothing twice in a row. i'd save at least one them for the end. >> if you look at republicans performance yesterday, it's craven. look at who it is and what it is they are trying to defend here. beyond who being the president himself. think of the damage at this point, this reckless disregard for our national security, for the work that these people have done, for the generations of work, for the decades of work laid out by so many state department officials trying to work on america's national security and they are throwing
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it away for a corrupt politician, for one guy. >> and it's a bad-faith argument. >> a bad-faith argument. >> and an tempt an attempt for >> but what it requires, mika, it requires that the people listening on talk radio or the people watching on other cable news networks are completely ignorant of the facts of this case. >> right. >> it requires that they know absolutely nothing about the timeline, they know absolutely nothing about the players, they know absolutely nothing about the president's own admissions. and yesterday i found myself -- i just was -- even sondland himself acting like he didn't know what burisma was attached to. is that like a coffee manufacturer? i have no idea. oh, yes, i've made it my business to stick my nose into ukraine, but i have no idea, despite the fact the president wasn't saying burisma, the president was saying to zelensky
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in the phone call, biden, biden, biden, talk to rudy about biden, biden, biden. talk to the attorney general about biden, biden, biden. come on. how stupid do they think we all are? >> and bill taylor's testimony. >> this is where we are now, though, is that the entire republican party has nothing but a bad faith argument. that's all it is now. i think the question we come back to is the question to come back to what david said a second ago, this is a history moment. i think for those of us who care about institutions and there's a way in which what obviously happened here aunnd all the evidence has led to us believe does turn on what happens next. and the question of whether this is a hinge in history moment is whether the next thing now transpires that should naturally transpire. are john bolton and mike pompeo and others at that level up to and including the president of
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the united states, is there going to be a mechanism that forces them to come forward to testify to get on the record, to be put -- to not just stand in front of the country under oath and testify on these matters? if that happens, this could be a hinge of history moment. but if that doesn't happen and republicans continue to engage in the giant lie, the giant bad faith argument that they've hinged their entire existence on to the last three years and we end up with no consequence what's is over for this, it may not be a hichk history momenge moment. it's that central at this point, what happens next now. >> if there's no consequences, it is a hinge of history. it's a very bad turn. we'll hold on to the facts here as hard as we can. we heard from defense official laura cooper who's testimony suggested that the ukrainians were aware of the hold on u.s. security assistance much earlier than the white house has claimed. >> on the issue of ukraine's knowledge of the hold or of ukraine asking questions about
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possible issues with the flow of assistance, my staff showed me two unclassified emails that they received from the state department. one was received on july 25th at 2:31 p.m. that email said that the ukrainian embassy and house foreign affairs committee are asking about security assistance. the second email was received on july 25th at 4:25 p.m. that email said that the hill knows about the fmf situation to an extent and so does the ukrainian embassy. on july 3rd at 4:23 p.m. they received an email from the state department stating that they had heard that the cn is currently being blocked by omb. this apparently refers to the notification state would send for ukraine fmf. >> but your staff at least gleaning from those conversations that ukrainian embassy was aware that there was some kind of a hold on the
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assistance? >> sir, the way i would phrase is it is that there was some kind of an issue, yes. >> months before president trump froze the money, the department of defense in consultation with state sent a letter to congress certifying, and you said this in your opening statement, the government of ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing corruption, increasing accountability and sustaining improvements of combat capability enabled by u.s. assistance. so by the time president trump froze the aid, the department of defense had spent weeks, if not months, determining that the ukrainian government met every requirement in the law and made significant strides in combating corruption. is that correct? >> that is correct. we made that determination in may. >> david ignatius, that lays it out in a rather stark manner.
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they made the determination in may. donald trump still trying to hold it up in august. what was your takeaway from the hearing and, i must ask, i know you're on the phone and got contacts across the world. what are the ukrainians thinking about this spectacle right now? >> so, joe, first about laura cooper's testimony, i thought she helped demolish one of the republican talking points. it's why i think their ability to defend is just being eroded day by day. their argument had been, well, ukrainians didn't know that aid had been suspended, they weren't being blackmailed, they weren't being bribed, they didn't know. well, here's very specific testimony that they did know and that they were asking about it and worrying about it. similarly, the argument that the aid was delivered in the end i think was partially demolished by what you were talking about a moment ago, the fact that the
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aid was only resumed after the white house, after president trump must have been aware from conversations with defense, from other discussions that this was about to come out. the whistle-blower and other public revelations of the aid suspension were about to surface. and then suddenly, i don't want anything, i don't want a quid pro quo. so that's striking testimony. i have been talking to ukrainians. i was with distinguished former official last night who is not part of the cesspool corruption in ukraine and i asked him what he made of the ukraine scandals. it's a scandal. and he said this is a good thing for ukraine. americans now are talking about how important it is for us to be free and independent, how important our fight against
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corruption is. they want it to be a sensible country. so what are my takeaways from this? one of the hinges to go back to what john was talking about, one hinge is we'll look at ukraine differently now. we'll want it to be a place that works and we'll know why that's important. >> yeah. so, elise, we listened to ms. cooper yesterday and there was some follow-up questions on where the republicans tried to draw some political blood. they failed miserably. >> i loved laura cooper yesterday. my heart just soared a little bit to see how strong she was and how thorough and how unflappable. >> yes. >> i thought it was just a really impressive display of a person in the u.s. government who cares about their job, is passionate and is good about it. and it was just jaw dropping to watch how republican congressional members tried to
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stump her. and they tried to get her to say it was completely normal for a foreign country to follow-up about when they're aid was going to be delivered when she introduced the new email evidence that the ukrainians had reached out about. hey, what's up with the money? i found that to be significant, that she was able to just immediately be, like, no, this isn't actually the norm. >> and that's, again, first hand account. she said i have emails that show the ukrainians knew that the assistance was being held up. she shot holes quietly because people may have been wiped out after gordon sondland's testimony took place in the evening. go back and watch laura cooper, because she shot holes in the white house defense. >> john heilman, you're talking about this go. i will say it's interesting, ken starr yesterday his reaction on fox news, it doesn't look good for the president substantively. also there is now proof that
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president trump committed the crime of bribery in the eyes of the democrats. this has to be one of those bombshell days. andrew napolitano said that testimony, he's correct, devastating. absolutely devastating for donald trump. other conservatives on twitter with pretty substantial following saying the same thing. finally, asking the question that i wish they would have asked two or three years ago, is it really worth all these federal judges to have someone who is this corrupt, who humiliates the united states this badly, can we not as conservatives do better than this? >> yes. look, if you looked at the reaction of the particularly fox news conservatives immediately after the first part of sondland's testimony you would have gotten the impression that this was really a moment that could change everything. and i still think it is a moment that could change everything.
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but by the end of the day a lot of those same conservatives had been brought back to a place of their typical docility. so ken starr's position changed over the course of the day and he he was saying well, i was representing one point of view. i was saying what adam schiff will say on the basis rather than my assessment on the question of whether trump had now been implicated in bribery. the talking points that guide the conservative movement now, the republican party, not all of them. there's tons of smart never trumper conservatives out there make those points. but even on fox news the moment where it seemed like they were shaken two hours in, as the republicans on the committee found their talking points, you saw it also on fox news, they found they all got themselves on to the script and they passed around the talking points at the end of the day, no quid pro quo here. you didn't hear trump say this to sondland, sondland's just saying this. these are all presumptions. again, i think there's really
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now a mechanical point. can democrats get this next layer of witnesses? we're done at the end of this week. we go to thanksgiving next week. there's still, in theory, a couple more weeks of open field running before we get to when the house wants to vote on articles before christmas. so in those first couple weeks of december, what happens to this investigation? and you know that adam schiff and others on the democratic side of the aisle want to now take this thing to the next level. can they get enforceable subpoenas? does this end up in front of the supreme court? what becomes the mechanism by which mike pompeo ends up in front of that committee. >> exact. >> i having to take the oath. which there's no one that watched yesterday's testimony who is fair mind who'd doesn't come to the conclusion that justice demands that mike pompeo have to testify under oath. will he be compelled to? >> so let's ask that to a member of the house intelligence committee democratic congressman sean patrick maloney of new york. what is the path there to hear
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from people like secretary pompeo who clearly have answers to the questions? >> well the path, first and foremost, is for the people with subpoenas to stop avoiding that lawful pro sfwles bcess? >> but what if they don't. >> there's going to be a judge that's going to set is the precedent and i'm going to predict the white house isn't going to like it. these are decisions frankly above my pay grade. the chairman and speaker and others will have to decide, although we'll be in the discussions today whether that game is worth the candle. whether given the overwhelming evidence that we have that the president used taxpayer funded military assistance to help him in his re-election campaign needs to be further demonstrated by the people who have even more evidence of it. you know, there's a val you too that, you bet. and i think the day is coming for all these people. i mean, ask roger stone, ask paul manafort, ask rick gates,
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ask michael cohen. there's -- there's others who have thought they could run from accountability, but it tends to catch up with you. and i think the day is coming when john bolton stops making money off book deals and has to give his evidence like three of his deputies did at risk to their own professional careers while he was out trying to make a buck on it. i think the day is coming when mike pompeo is going to have to answer for why he let marie yovanovitch be thrown under the bus and clearly knew all of these things in realtime. we heard that directly from ambassador sondland yesterday. and the day is sure coming for mick mulvaney who came out and told us all why the president did this. said there was a quid pro quo and told us to get over if the well, we're not over it and he'll be held to account in the fullness of time. but the real issue is whether we can hold the president accountable given the facts and evidence that we have. >> it's willie geist, good to see you this morning. republicans and the white house thought they had a checkmate moment when the president was quoted as saying, i want nothing, i want nothing, i want
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no quid pro quo. ambassador sondland testified that took place in a phone call from the president to ambassador sondland on september the 9th. what is your reaction to that and your response to that that that is somehow exculpatory? >> it's nonsense and you've covered that pretty well. we know that they knew about the whistle-blower report at that point. i asked sondland what he wanted and unprompted the president said no quid pro quo as if that's an expression that people use when people ask you what you want. it's almost as if somebody had told him there's a whistle-blower saying you're pressuring a foreign leader, you're soliciting a bribe, so you better deny the key legal element which is quid pro quo and he did so. but as joe pointed out, you know, pretty colorfully, you don't get a lot of credit for that when you're already busted. >> absolutely. the testimony, to be specific, this is from ambassador
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sondland, was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. so, congressman, big picture, because there was a long day yesterday. some people caught bits and pieces, some people sat through all of it. what was your big takeaway from yesterday? what was the story you heard from ambassador sondland and the two witnesses later in the day? >> oh, critical testimony yesterday. there was a quid pro quo. they acted at the direction of the president of the united states through mr. giuliani. that the ukrainians knew about it. and that when they were busted, they tried to cover it up. i mean, all of the key things we have been asserting are being borne out step by step by the facts and the evidence. it is as bad as you thought it was. and to have laura cooper following in the afternoon to say the ukrainians knew about it earlier, there aren't many defenses left for the republicans so they retreat into this so what defense. and as i've said before, so what
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is where our democracy goes to die. you cannot not care about this because it matters. and the president should be held accountable. >> congressman sean patrick maloney, thank you very much. we'll be watching to see how this plays out. and still ahead, we're going to talk about last night's democratic debate. one of the moderators, ashley parker, joins us along with former senator clair mccaskill. plus, three of the candidates senator kamala harris, amy klobuchar and mayor pete buttigieg join us. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> you said it's wrong to investigate political opponents. we've agreed on that today, haven't we, sir? >> yes. >> and yet of course that's what we know the president was asking for. let me ask you something. who would have benefited from an investigation of the president's political opponents? >> i don't want to characterize who would have and who would not have. >> i know you don't want to, sir, that's my question. would you answer it for me? it's a pretty simple question,
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isn't it? i guess i'm having trouble why you can't just say -- >> when he asked about investigations, i assumed he meant -- >> i know what you assumed. but who would benefit from the investigation of the bidens? >> therethey're two different questions. >> i'm just asking you one. who would benefit from the investigation of the bidens? >> i'm assuming president trump. >> there we have it. see. assuming president trump. >> there we have it. see. great presentation, tim.
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mr. yang, if you win the 2020 election, what would you say in your first call with russian president vladimir putin? >> that's a fun one. well, first i'd say i'm sorry i beat your guy.
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sorry, not sorry. and second, i would say the days of meddling in american elections are over and we will take any undermining of our democratic processes as an act of hostility and aggression. >> all right. 36 past the hour. joining us now, former u.s. senator and now an nbc news and msnbc analysts claire mccaskill. how do you like these hours? >> i feel like i'm on a campaign, no sleep. >> exactly. and white house reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc contributor ashley parker who comoderated last night's democratic debate. i will not congratulate you for four women on the stage because that shouldn't be news. ashley, what are your big takeaways from the debate performances last night? >> a couple takeaways. one was i was sort of surprised that there was no major moment of the candidates really going after each other because in the days and weeks leading up to the
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debate you are seeing them sniping at each other everywhere, especially all the candidates kind of piling on mayor buttigieg. and there were some one-off exchanges where things got a little heated here and there between one or two candidates. but we felt like we had some questions which would have allowed the candidates, had they wanted to, to take the swings they have been previewing. and on the whole unless you count the very end part of the debate, it was notable in some ways for what didn't happen. which was nobody went off mayor buttigieg in the way that i think everyone had expected, including the mayor himself heading into last night. >> i think, clair mckaction cass skill, th mccaskill, that might have been a smart move. >> after hours of impeachment hearing testimony for our candidates to take the stage and snipe at each other wasn't going to sit well. everyone wants to have a sense that we can unify when this is all over.
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you know, i did think that mayor pete showed he could pivot and punch. >> yep. >> i did think that kamala harris was masterful in her takedown of tulsi gabbard who, by the way, if you're a candidate for president in the democratic party and you can't say assad is a war criminal, shame on you. >> exactly. >> shame on you. >> what is going on there? >> it's very odd. >> her explanation was well, fdr met with stalin was her defense of it. >> she was asked by chris in the after the debate in the spin room do you believe that assad say war criminal? and she equivocated. i'm like, what the -- >> what's going on there? we don't need anymore of that. >> ashley, there's always the complaint after the debate you didn't talk about climate change and everything that's going on. you did a great job. what was the feeling in the room and amongst those of you talking afterward about the performance of vice president biden who is
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still the front runner, if you look at national polling. how did he do last night? >> there was a sense that there was sort of peaks and valleys. he had some answers where you were watching and he really seemed to be struggling. and then he had a couple of very strong answers people thought that his closing statement was good. he had a good answer and response in the question to about how democrats would handle the chance of lock him up that they're now hearing at campaign rallies. and then there were other moments where he, again, he really seemed to struggle, including using sort of violent language when he was talking about the violence against women act and kind of not realizing what he was doing with that metaphor there. so for vice president biden it was spotty. and he's been consistently spotty for these past five debates. >> ashley, it's jonathan. wanted to first of all compliment you on your great work last night, particularly
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bringing up questions on issues that haven't been covered, like paid family leave and child care. i thought that was important to add to the discussion. but i want to talk about the other front runner right now, senator elizabeth warren who i feel like had a strong opening and then faded to the background for a while before coming back forcefully at the end. want to get to your sense of how she did last night. she was, let's remember, in the previous debate came in surging and was the unlike mayor pete buttigieg who i agree largely was not attacked. last time around she was. did she reset herself last night? >> yeah, i think what you saw from senator warren is what people expected to see. even in response to some of the questions she was very good at pivoting to, for instance, the wealth tax to a question that i'd actually very little to do with the wealth tax. about her plans. i don't know how much you can see on tv, but in the room basically any time a question came up that touched on anything
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where she had a plan, which as we all know is a lot, her hand would shoot up and shoot up and shoot up. and so i think it was a solid performance by her. she was, as you pointed out, she was not under assault the way she was in the previous debate. i don't think she said anything that surprised anyone, but she came away as sort of true to her core. which assume her base and her supporters will appreciate. >> all right. "the washington post" ashley parker, thanks very much for being on this morning. and coming up, our first of three presidential candidates this morning. senator kamala harris joins us next on "morning joe." we're back in a moment. on "mo" we're back in a moment. ♪
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i'm part of that obama coalition. i come out of the black community in terms of my support. if you notice i have more people supporting me in the black community that are out for me because they know me, they know who i am. former chairs of the black caucasus. the only african-american woman to have ever been elected to the united states senate. >> that's not true.
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>> that's not true. >> the other one is here. >> i said the first. i say the first -- >> thank you. >> the first -- the first african american. so my point is, my point is the reason i was picked to be vice president, it was because of my relationship, longstanding relation with the black community. i was part of that coalition. >> all right. joining us now, democratic presidential candidate, senator kamala harris. my gosh, bright and early, i don't know how you're doing these hours, all of you. >> it's 2 1/2 hours sleep and we're here. >> how do you think it went last night? >> i thought it was a good night. a lot of important issues were covered and, you know, this is -- there's so much at stake. and, as i say often, if not all the time, justice is on the ballot and so talking about the various injustices, including the subject matter of the impeachment process, it's an important discussion. >> so moving forward
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strategically for your campaign, what are the challenges? how do we get the debate stage down to two or three candidates and how do you make sure kamala harris is one of them? >> yeah, you know, mika, the reality, you know, i'm just into real talk at that point. the reality is that the top of the, you know, the top of the field many have been on the stage for decades. they're familiar, they're known, and they have name i.d. for that reason. my challenge is to up my name i.d. and introduce myself to people. you know, a large part of it is the fundraising piece. i need to raise the money to be on tv in iowa. you know, as soon as possible. that's just a crude fact of running for president. and until we have campaign finance reform, which will be one of my first areas of focus when elected, until that happens, that's a part of the process. >> senator harris, willie geist. good to see you this morning. >> hi. >> i know you're busy preparing for a debate yesterday, but
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there was some, as we've been talking about all morning some incredibly damning testimony put forward by ambassador sondland and two witnesses later in the day. i understand you're a potential juror in this case as a united states senator, but you're also a prosecutor. >> yes. >> as you listen to the evidence, is there any doubt in your mind that president trump has committed an impeachable offense here? >> we have not yet, the american people have not yet been presented with anything that is evidence-based that causes any question about what happened. i mean, we've got a confession, it happened in plain sight and sondland's testimony yesterday was basically all the president's men. he said, you know, everyone was in the loop. and so i think it gets worse and worse for the president, frankly. and we'll see how this all ends up. obviously the process is still unfolding. but at this point, i think that, you know, we have been presented
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with a lot of information that tells us that this president has committed impeachable offenses and really shouldn't be in office. >> as you talk to your republican colleagues, the conventional wisdom is based on what we know he will be impeached in the house controlled by democrats, but it's not going anywhere in the senate because it's controlled by mitch mcconnell and republicans. do you share that sflu view? do you see any world where republicans watch this and say i'm going to vote to convict him if there's a trial in the senate? >> willie, you know, i'm clear i'd about it. i've been in the senate now almost three years and i've not seen much evidence of my colleagues across the aisle willingness to stand up and speak out. and those that have have not run for re-election or, you know, folks like the late great john mccain. but i do -- i will say this. i do believe that the elected republicans are one thing, but when we're talking about the american people including those
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who are registered as republicans, my appeal is to them. which is that i think we all know this is just not right. it's not right. and in so many ways our democracy is being challenged when we have this kind of abuse of power. and framers obviously imaged that there might be this moment, and there should be a check and balance. so my appeal really is to the american people, regardless of who they voted for in the last election, that we should all stand up and say it is not right and it has to end. >> koamala, it is claire. >> hi, claire. >> i thought you were terrific last night. >> thank you. >> i want to talk about one thing that was a phoning us last night, probably really for the first time. that was women, and particularly women of color and the struggles they face. >> yeah. >> you made a point about so many women are having children in their 30s and they have dual responsibility of caring for parents and caring for children,
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and that really resonated with women across this country. >> right. >> do you think we have done enough on the debate stage and in this campaign, talking about not lunch bucket joe, but rather 32-year-old single mom, you know, associates degree, still having to work two jobs to take care of her kids. >> that's right. >> talk a little bit about that and whether or not you think we are beginning to get parity on these women's issues that are so important to democrats, because it is women and particularly black women that elect presidents in the democratic party. >> we have not done enough, there's no question. women are now the majority population in america, and certainly it has not -- the issues that impact women and their families have not been the ma squo majority of subjects raised in these presidential debates. there's no question. everything from child care, i'm very glad it was brought up and the moderators last night are
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exceptional as professions and they were all women. there are so many issues about paid family leave. it is about equal pay. it is about what we need to do around sexual harassment in the workplace. just the topics go on and on. as you and i know every issue is a woman's issue and women's issues should be every woman's issue. women have experience around thinks issues that should be unique and should be discussed. there's more to be done. the equal pay issue, 1963 -- dies, think about this. the united states congress in 1963 acknowledged that women are not paid equal for equal work. let's close our eyes for a moment and imagine who was in the united states congress in 1963. >> wasn't folks that look like us. >> but here is the thing. those guys knew it was an issue. >> right, right. >> but yet fast forward to the year of 2019 and women are still played 80 cents on the dollar,
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black women 51 cents, latinos 54. we have not done enough. women don't want to be flattered. you know, i'm done with that. i think most women are. don't flatter us. don't say, hey, you are the reason that we win. oh, we're so proud we elected 100 women to the united states congress. yes, acknowledge that, but then what are you doing for women? that's part of the issue. so i appreciate your question and there's more to be done, both on the debate stage and in policy. >> hey, senator harris. i'm going to echo claire and say you had a strong debate. >> thank you. >> also, i want to commend you on lifting up black women when you had the stage and the moment and to talk about how black women are treated by the party and forgotten after they come out and vote. my question to you is that you are in georgia, ground zero for
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voter suppression. we all know democrats will not win in 2020 without overwhelming turnout from the black community. if we do win next year, it is going to be in spite of voter suppression. we see it across the country. >> that's right. >> what can democrats do to protect the vote? >> you're so right careen. 2013 the voting rights act was gutted and immediately thereafter two dozen states put in laws, including in the state of georgia, but famously in north carolina the supreme court said it was designed to suppress the black vote. we have seen the purging of voters in georgia. it is a very real issue. we have to deal with it in terms of the legislation to get passed, which i support and to put teeth back in the voting rights act. we need to litigate cases in the
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courtrooms around the country as relates to specific laws put in place, but we need to empower the community groups and nonprofit groups that are attempting to help people register to vote and get to the polls and to get around these obstructions because while we are late gatiitigating these ca elections are happening. we are going to have to really move around the obstacles to get people to vote. i believe we should have election day as a holiday. i believe we need to have automatic voter registration, but until we get those things we have to help the people on the ground getting folks to the poll, getting people registered to vote. my final point is this. in addition to the classic voter suppression we have to recognize russian interference and what it has meant in terms of the misinformation campaign that targeted black voters. we now have the classic voter suppression, and on top of that the contemporary or modern-day voter suppression which is
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foreign interference targeting black voters, to turn black voters off on the whole process and to basically stay at home. that's voter suppression. serving on the senate intelligence committee we published a report a few weeks ago. i urge everyone to read it to know what we're talking about and what we're dealing with. it is a real issue, a very big issue. >> senator kamala harris, thank you so much for being on this morning. >> thank you. thank you. >> we really appreciate it. to her point about russian interference, we just got the opening statement from dr. fiona hill, who will be testifying today before the house intel committee, and she is a member of the national security council, soviet, russian and european affairs. her opening statement is really a warning to congress. right now russia security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. we are running out of time to stop them. >> you know what else she does? she tears to shreds in this opening statement the conspiracy theory that ukraine somehow meddled in the election.
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it is a theory pushed by donald trump and the white house. she says i refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternative reality, that ukraine, not russia attacked us in 2016. >> this should be very interesting. two more candidates from last night's debate, mayor pete buttigieg and senator amy klobuchar join us. we are about an hour away from impeachment hearings and, again, we just received the opening statement from one of today's key witnesses, former top russia aide at the white house, dr. fiona hill. as willie mentions, she takes a torpedo to conspiracy theories that the republicans have been pushing. that is next on "morning joe." we are back in two minutes. lorss and are gluten & dairy free. they're all clean. all the time. even if sometimes we're not. sundown vitamins. all clean. all the time.
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this is a seminal moment in our investigation. the evidence you have brought forward is deeply significant
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and troubling. who had the decision to release the aid, it was one person, donald j. trump, president of the united states. now, my colleagues seem to think unless the president says the magic words that i hereby bribed the ukrainians that there's no evidence of bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. the question is what are we prepared to do about it. is there any accountability or are we forced to conclude that this is just now the world that we live in? getting caught is no defense. not to a violation of the constitution or to a violation of his oath of office, and it certainly doesn't give us a reason to ignore our own oath of office. >> there's a great line. >> yeah. >> getting caught is no defense. >> it is not. >> which is all the republicans could do yesterday after devastating testimony by ambassador sondland, was to come
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up with ridiculous defenses and talk about the consequences of donald trump being caught in the middle of this drug deal with rudy giuliani. >> and the testimony continues today. you just saw a live look inside the hearing room. dr. fiona hill will be testifying, and she is the -- opening statements have been released and we have some details for you. welcome back to "morning joe." it is thursday, november 21st. still with joe, willie and me, we have white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lemire. former u.s. senator, now an misnews and msnbc political analyst claire mccaskey. national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john heilman. senior adviser at move on.org and an msnbc contributor, corrine jean-pierre. columnist and editor for "the washington post", david ignatius. mayor pete will be joining us in a moment, but as i just
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mentioned we received the opening statement from former white house official fiona hill. she will tell congress this morning that domestic partisan politics have driven a fictional alternative narrative about ukraine that is misguided and wrong. that according to her full opening statement obtained by nbc news. hill also will forcibly warn about the threat russia poses to american democracy and accuse lawmakers of echoing russian propaganda and using the impeachment proceedings that the ukraine attacked the election. based on questions and statements that i have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country, and that perhaps somehow for some reason ukraine did.
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this is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and prop gat propogated by the russian security services themselves. the unfortunate truth is that russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. she continues, the impact of the successful 2016 russian campaign remains evident today. our nation is being torn apart. right now russia's security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. we are running out of time to stop them. in the course of this investigation, i would ask that you please not promote politically-driven falsehoods that so clearly advance russian interests. i refuse to be a part of an effort to legitimize an alternative narrative that the ukrainian government is a u.s. adversary and that ukraine, not russia, attacked us in 2016.
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>> david ignatius, high drama obviously coming to the hill again, coming to the impeachment inquiry again. fiona hill is going to actually be telling the truth to some of these republicans. there have been some republicans who have admitted that the russians may have tried to interfere, but for the most part, the jim jordans and now the elise stefaniks, there are a lot of people that are following the president down the rat hole of conspiracy theories and trying to pin vladimir putin's operation on ukraine. fiona hill obviously is going to have none of it today. >> joe, based on the opening statement that mika just summarized, this is going to be another explosive day. fiona hill is going to go right at the arguments that many of the republicans on the committee have been making and she is
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going to say in effect, you are being used by russia. you are advancing arguments that russia is making in an attempt to waeeaken the united states. fiona hill is a serious russia expert. she has been doing this for decades. she is going to speak with that authority. in my quick reading of her opening statement she is going to drop a bombshell, which is to say that the idea that it was ukraine that was the architect of the 2016 interference in the u.s. presidential election was planted by russian intelligence, it is a line -- i have heard that from sources in the last week or so. she is going to say it now in public. i hope there's a lot of questioning about it because it is a very explosive charge, that the line the republicans have been peddling, that president trump was demanding be investigated, may have begun with deliberate russian intelligence manipulation in
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planting this idea. >> remember, that conspiracy theory is the one the president directly references in the july 25 phone call to president zelensky, this crowdstrike idea that somehow it was ukraine and not russia that meddled in the direction. so, claire, republicans don't like hearsay, so here is a firsthand witness in fiona hill that was in the meetings that john bolton allegedly called a drug deal, the two white house meetings on july 10th, where ambassador sondland says to the ukrainians, this for that, this for that. a second meeting down stair in the white house. she was there in the room, she has testified privately. she knows the details and has firsthand accounts of what happened and what she witnessed in the rooms. >> she will be a strong fact witness. i mean she has a reputation, you know, for not suffering fools. so i think she's not going to be partisan. she is going to be even, but she is going to be very strong. you know, let's remember here, there was something that happened between the first phone call with zelensky when trump
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said, congratulations, we will have a white house meeting, and when he called off the trip to the inaugural. what happened was a phone call with putin. that's what happened. all of the republicans saying, oh, well, trump, you know, was being maligned by ukraine during the election, excuse me. the reason you craukrainians we saying they didn't like donald trump was because donald trump said in the campaign we should give crimea to russia. what was ukraine supposed to say? that's a good idea. let's just give our territory to russia. let's just destroy our some sovereigty. i think her getting in their face about the bogus conspiracy theory that ukraine was involved in this combined with her strong factual account of what was going on in the meetings will make it as big a day as yesterday. >> of course, they were changing their platform at the republican convention. >> exactly.
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>> john heilman, you have the president who has been running around, again, a puppet of vladimir putin, a parrot of vladimir putin when he says to his aides, well, ukraine is not a real country. he is propagating -- actually, the number one propaganda aim of vladimir putin. >> right. >> that is with his constant attacks on university crakraine. and this republican party that so proudly stood up to soviet gre aggression, this rep party are now parroting vladimir putin's talking point. >> lieutenant colonel vindman in his testimony a couple of days ago raised -- passingly raised this point. he was asked a couple of times by democratic members of the committee about ukraine was the real aggressor, the real ones who infiltrated our election,
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was it true or not. vindman said, no, there's no evidence of that whatsoever, the intelligence community is unanimous in saying that russia is the one that intervened. again he said passingly this narrative is that ukraine was, in fact, the perpetrator, is a russian narrative. now we have fiona hill coming in and seeming to want to make it front and center. in her testimony she says i have two things i want to tell you. i'm here to take questions, but two things i want to focus on is this is my background, let me tell you about who i am, and second i want to focus on this. devin nunes, ranking member on this committee, is a believer -- at least ostensibly -- in this view as much as donald trump. >> what, you mean putin's view? >> the russian view. >> is he really going to be promoting vladimir putin's view? >> he has been, not only will he today -- >> when he is confronted with the facts, how far will he go in defending an ex-kgb agent who kills political opponents and
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who kills journalists? how far will devin nunes go as putin's patsy? >> oh, that's good. putin's patsy. >> there you go, hshlt. >> right up there with #mitch. >> russian intervenes in the election to help donald trump. they need to point the finger someplace else, so they point at ukraine. donald trump embraces the view because he doesn't want to acknowledge that russia helped him win the election in 2016. what those guys are doing is obvious. why devin nunes and the republicans on this committee has adopted this point of view too is, as always, the question, why do they want ton on the train. i think the most delightful potential prospect is to make this question front and center. will fiona hill get into this with devin nunes? will there be an engagement on this question in which she calls
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bs on devin nunes. >> looks like it. >> and by extension all of the republicans who embraced this point of view. >> the question today is going to be -- >> that the question. >> -- are they going to be on the side of vladimir putin or are they going to be on the side not only of fiona hill, but every intel chief that donald trump himself appointed? nominated, got appointed. jonathan lemire, whether it is the fbi director, whether it is the cia director, the nbi, acting nbi, whether it is military intelligence, it is u.s. military, everybody has told donald trump the same thing. whether it is department of hhs, everybody has told donald trump the same thing. the number one threat to the united states of america right now is not thermonuclear war from north korea, but the fact that russia is meddling in america's democracy. those are trump's intel chiefs. so why does donald trump and devin nunes and jim jordan, why
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do they embrace an ex-kgb agent instead of believing the people that are running donald trump's own intel agencies? >> let's remember that the president has been asked several times, including in heel sifrls standing next to putin, who he believed. and he would not side with the u.s. government over putin. in this matter you know who offered a preview of fiona hill's testimony? vladimir putin. he spoke yesterday saying, thank god no one is accusing us of interfering in u.s. elections anymore, now they're accusing ukraine. >> there you go. >> wow. thank you, devin nunes. >> there you go. start right there. >> let's bring in mayor pete buttigieg. we have been talking about fiona hill and what we saw yesterday and the russian interference in the election and republican's
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refusing to stand up to vladimir putin. what are some of the things you would do to protect the united states in a way that devin nunes, jim jordan and other republicans refuse to do? >> looking at these proceedings you have to wonder what, if anything, could shock these congressional republicans into being reunited with their sense of conscience and a desire to protect this country. this country is under attack right now, and our democracy is the most important and precious thing that we have, which is exactly why the russians realized that in targeting that they could be targeting such a core and vulnerable part of american strength. now, there needs to be a president who, first of all, acknowledges the russian interference and, secondly, is prepared to make sure that there are real consequences to it so that when the russians are making their strategic decisions they know not to even go there. we can use the diplomatic, economic, cyber information
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security and other elements of the u.s. national security tool kit to create enough of a deterrence that it is just not even worth bothering trying to mess with our elections. that's the message that i would send and that the next president must send in order to make sure that they don't take a whack at us or motivate other foreign adversaries to take a whack at our democracy every single time there's an election day. >> what do you think the motivation is, mayor pete, behind the republicans, especially on the intel committee, and their approach to these diplomats, these public servants? what can be said to compel them to understand facts versus conspiracy theories and other things they're using to protect president trump? what would you do differently? >> it just seems that they've gone off the cliff. it is party over country. >> absolutely. >> even when you have non-partisan civil servants and, for that matter, republican appointees speaking out, saying that this is a problem, saying
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what clearly happened and calling for accountability for an abuse of power, it seems that these congressional republicans cannot get their head out of the moment of loyalty to the party and are unaware of just how harshly they're going to be judged by history, not i think in the far-off distant future by around the corner. anyone who is part of those hearings for the rest of their careers and lives will be remembered for whether they stood up and did the right thing. >> good morning, mayor buttigieg. it is willie geist. good to see you this morning. >> good morning. >> your health care plan is medicare for all who want it. elizabeth warren and bernie sanders is just straight-up medicare for all, including taking away private insurance from more than 160 million people. let me ask you point-blank. do you believe a candidate that runs on medicare for all can win a general election in this country? >> certainly it would be a tough sell because the american people want that choice. by the way, that's not just
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general election voters as we make sure we reach out to moderates and try to pull republicans across the aisle, but also democratic voters. democrats at well sitting at home, making health care decisions for our families, don't want to have that option taken off the table. the whole idea of medicare for all who want it is we create that public alternative and let you decide. if enough people decide it is the right answer, eventually it becomes medicare for all, but there's some humility in the approach here because we recognize instead of washington deciding whether and when people should switch, we let people make that decision for themselves. >> as you know -- >> look, we have to make sure -- go ahead. >> you live in the state of indiana. a lot of people who believe taking away private health insurance from unions, rust belt states, the kind of places you all need to win back is a poison pill and there's no way to beat donald trump on that policy. do you agree with that? >> yes, you have a lot of union
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members who negotiated a good plan and, by the way, often made concessions on wages to get a good health care plan. you have millions of seniors on medicare advantage plans. we have to make sure to answer the central question on the mind of any voter sizing up a candidate which is, how is my life going to be different if you become president versus the alternative. if somebody feels like their choice is going to be taken away, that's a tough thing to answer for. it also speaks, i think, to a broader question and a broader challenge, which is how do we make sure that our campaigns are as inclusive as possible? my campaign is about inclusion. i'm reaching out to progressives. i am reaching out to mad ratode but i know there are a lot of what i like to call future former republicans out there. they're coming to my events, talking about how they've not supported a democrat before but they're looking at things like the circus going on in washington and what is going on in this white house and saying, you know, i can't support that.
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they're looking for an alternative. they know they're not going the agree with me on every issue, but they also know that they cannot stand by what the republican party has become. the message has to go out to these voters that you belong, that you are welcome in this coalition that we're building. >> mayor pete, this is carine. you have had a massive surge, and in talking to people that i know in iowa, the surge matches your events. my question is after new hampshire and iowa the demographics change greatly. in nevada you have the large latino population, south carolina a large black population. what are you going to do to expand your base? >> well, this isn't just a question of political strategy to me. this is just personally important as somebody whose campaign revolves around the idea of belonging and inclusion, to reach out to americans of
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every background. the early states of south carolina and nevada present wonderful opportunities to engage black and latino voters in particular. you are going to see us stepping up our investments in those states, continuing to reach out. we have got a lot of outreach and investment coming up in south carolina. even here today in atlanta i will be visiting with the national action network, and later on joining fair fight, stacey abrams efforts to push back on voter suppression. the voter suppression of african-americans likely is responsible for stacey abrams not being the governor here in georgia, but also it is worth pointing out when the black vote or other minority votes are suppressed that makes the entire country worse off because there are worse decisions, decisions coming out of elections that do not reflect the totality of our voters, and the result is policies that don't speak to all of us. >> john heilman.
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>> hey, pete, it is heilman. i'm curious, you are in a position where people are looking at you like you could be the nominee. you had a flash of prominence earlier this year that introduced you to a lot of people, but now you are getting the hard look from voters saying, oh, this guy is leading in iowa, he might be leading in new hampshire, we have to give him a hard look. one of the things a lot of voters heard last night that i know surprised them, talking about average voters, this is a guy who was elected mayor of south bend with 11,000 votes. that's new information to people, and i think it is making some voters who are giving you, like i say, the first hard look wonder whether a guy whose political success to date amounted to winning small-scale elections, where that's the kind of guy they can put their trust in to be able to win a big national election against donald trump when the stakes are so high. what do you say to a voter like that that says, you know, pete, you are super promising, but 11,000 votes, i think it might be a little green for what we need in 2020? >> well, it depends whether you
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think washington experience is the only kind of experience that matters. the work that we're doing on the ground, that mayors of cities of any size are responsible for, everything from emergency management to economic growth, this is the kind of attitude of rolling up your sleeves and getting things done that i think we need more of in washington. i also think that as the campaign unfolds, look, the best way to demonstrate you can win an election is to win an election. you know, this thing started with three people and some folding chairs in an office in south bend at the beginning of this year, and now we have built a movement that's put us in the top tier of contenders for the american presidency. that in itself is part of how you demonstrate what you are capable of, and we will continue to draw people into this movement and coalition and showing, not telling, what kind of politics i practice and why it is the right response to the moment we are living in under trump and trumpism. >> mayor pete buttigieg, thank you so much for being with us.
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>> thank you. >> we really appreciate it. >> great to have you on. >> also a pleasure. thank you. >> good luck out there. so, claire, we -- the mayor had to move on to another event, but i'm curious. what were your thoughts about how he performed last night, and do you think -- like, for instance, what willie brought, the 11,000 votes, that was for me one of the moments where you are like, what, oh, wow, okay. it is like when joe biden had his one good comeback when he talked about tom steyer producing more coal, burning more coal than all of the united kingdom. i was like, really? that's a gee-whiz stat for you. >> yeah. i almost wish in a way we could have seen mayor pete respond to more incoming. i think he's very talented at deflecting and addressing criticisms. he had a little bit and i thought he did well when he got
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those, but, you know, we can compare and con tratrast. yeah, 11,000 votes as a mayor, but -- >> we are watching dr. fiona hill enter, i want to let our viewers now as you pick up, claire. >> yeah, i think the depth and breadth of his experience in the military, as a small town mayor, that's the kind of stuff that people don't like washington, joe. i know it is a news flash, i know you get this and a lot of people get this, but washington is a terrible place to be from right now for most voters. the fact that he's really one of the few true outsiders in the race, he can work to advantage as long as he leans heavily on his military experience and, frankly, his intellect and his -- you know, his degrees, his multi-lingual. this is a really substantive guy. >> yes. >> now that he is a small town mayor, but i'm not sure it doesn't work. >> i think the military training makes a difference.
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willie, as you know, a lot of these young men and women that go over there are actually put in charge of towns. >> yes. >> that have, you know, they've got to worry about things like plumbing, sewage. they've got to worry about things like, you know, getting food and water. >> yes. >> -- to the residents in war-torn areas. so that experience really does matter. i will say though there was -- i will say there was one problem last night. i wish we had a little more time i would like to have asked him about in the second round of questions, where he talked about we have 100 years of experience up here in washington and look how badly washington has acted. i understand that sells well on the campaign trail, but i look forward to the candidate that says, yes, not only do i know washington, i know how to make washington work because i've been studying it for most of my life or i have been working there for most of my life. when you start going, well, yeah, but experience is bad, 100 years of persons, that is sort
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of donald trump speak. that is brexit speak. so look what experts have gotten us. >> yes, i do think in some ways donald trump becoming president threw out the experience question. if donald trump can become president by being a game show host, why not mayor pete as well? but there is a distinction between mayor pete and donald trump obviously, and that is that pete buttigieg is engaged in the issues, he is studied in the issues. >> yes, he has written a constitution. >> yes, things like that. >> and he understands the constitution. >> yes. >> and he is gifted intellectually. >> he is gifted. >> remarkable. >> and i think his military service helps him great deal. you know, he flipped tulsi gabbard away when she came at him about wanting to invade mexico. there were a couple of moments, but i think we thought because of where he sits in the polls in iowa and new hampshire that he would have more incoming. >> he certainly got lucky. i actually think and it goes into a little bit about what you
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were saying, is that his weak spot, which is what i was trying to ask him, is with black south koreas. he is not connecting with black voters. i was hoping he would have given me a better answer. to your point some older black voters i speak to, it is the lack of experience that they have a problem with. yes, they appreciate that he was a veteran. we have to respect that and honor that, but they think 37 years old, 120,000 constituents in his -- in south bend as mayor, that is something that he has to get over and he has to find a way, he has to find a way to connect with black voters. because after iowa and new hampshire we know it gets much more diverse. >> and he is zeroing out among black voters in south carolina. >> yes, zero. >> and other areas. mika, we all saw it, 2007, older black voters are very pragmatic. they don't want to support somebody to make a statement.
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they want to support somebody who can win. we had perfect test case in barack obama. oh, great, great. we have a black guy who is running. that's just awesome. we're going to support hillary clinton. remember, you wept ont out and talked to michelle obama and she was so frustrated. they were both frustrated. >> but look what happened. >> the second they figured out that barack obama had a shot of winning, it made all of the difference in the world and he got that support. >> and that's exactly right. i really do think this is the year that we have got to have a really gut check moment about whether or not iowa and new hampshire should be first. >> come on. >> i agree. totally agree. >> this is not our party. >> for republicans, yes. not for democrats. >> we have to change the order. >> it is ridiculous. >> -- so that the first two states are more diverse. >> yes. >> that's not who we are. frankly, you want to talk about not recognizing the brack voter, having a substantial amount of voters of color, wait until
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third or fourth in line to weigh this is not right. >> david holmes is now arriving at the capital. >> the staffer. >> he also will be testifying today in the impeachment inquiry. >> i am not going to want to be anywhere near claire mccaskill on the first round in february in iowa because they will be coming after you. >> i can say it, the candidates can't because everybody in iowa would be furious. >> now that you said that, claire, next time i'm with you in des moines, they will be coming at you with pitchfork goes. >> for the republican party, it lines up with the republican party demographically but south carolina lines up best with the democratic party. >> i have always thought -- >> that's true. >> if you could be god -- >> -- or iowa -- >> -- and design the system, and you would take the four early states and rotate them so a different state would start every four years, iowa would go first one year, nevada would go first next cycle, south
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carolina, or in whatever order, but you would get a rotation. >> iowa first is fine if south carolina is second. new hampshire first is fine if south carolina is second. >> it is the two all-white states at the top. >> but to have two all-white states -- >> i agree. >> -- start the democratic primary process is ridiculous. >> we need to sneak in a break as we watch david holmes getting closer and closer to the hearing room. he is, of course, the staffer who overheard the phone call when the president called gordon sondland and was loudly talking on a cellphone. >> in a restaurant. >> and in a restaurant, was it -- >> it was on a mobile phone. >> we're less than an hour away. >> sondland also said, we also talked on unsecured phone lines. >> terrific. another explosive day of testimony in the kbeerimpeachme hearings.
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nbc news has learned that senator mitt romney will be meeting with the president over lunch. you are watching "morning joe." we will be right back. we will be right back. we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it - with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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34 past the hour. we are nearing the start of today's impeachment hearing. testimony from former white house official dr. fiona hill, who in her opening statement obtained by nbc news will say that domestic partisan politics have driven a fictional alternative narrative about ukraine that is misguided and wrong. quote, based on questions and statements i have heard some of you on this committee appear to believe that russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, ukraine did. this is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the russian security services themselves. the unfortunate truth is that russia was the party that attacks in 2016. she goes on, i refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an
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alternative narrative that the ukrainian government is a u.s. adversary and that ukraine, not russia, attacked us in 2016. >> backdrop, you have donald trump tweeting while borrowing from -- i think it was jaba the hut calling the chairman of the intel community human scum. >> my god. >> that's right. so human scum. we can call him jaba the trump, is now actually calling the chairman of the intel committee, quote, human scum. he is completely, he has completely lost it. >> i think we are up to ten tweets in the last hour from the president, most of them centered on the impeachment hearings, criticizing schiff, suggesting the republicans are holding strong and soon the proceedings will be on our turf which we assume means the senate. again, he went after robert mueller, suggested they didn't find anything there in that, quote, witch hunt, it is the democrats' latest attempt. it goes to show the lack of
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response from the white house. they've been caught off guard day after day in the hearings. there's been a bombshell, nearly every witness delivered some sort of bombshell they've been ill-prepared to handle when their war room is simply the president and his thumbs on the twitter app. >> no doubt. let's bring in presidential candidate senator amy klobuchar of minnesota. thank you for being with us. >> thanks, joe. no mean tweets from me. >> that's right. we will talk about the debate in a minute. first, i'm just curious what your response is to what fiona hill is talking about this morning and how she is going to actually lay into republican members who are following a conspiracy conspiracy theory? >> i love this one. i think claire was point on when she said that she is not going to mince words. she is an expert. she has been the adviser to the president in the white house on these issues, and it is consistent with all of the president's men, all of the
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president's intelligence aides and heads, everyone from christopher wray to former intelligence director coates, all have said russia is not just bold but getting bolder, they're continuing to do this. not just the social media propaganda, but there are attempts to hack into the election equipment of 50 states. we know this. all of this other stuff is just misinformation sent out -- and i love the fact she said that this is what the russians want. the white house knows this. the president wants this. this is a shield of a defense for him as opposed to the real stuff which is that he was trying to get dirt on a political opponent. >> claire. >> so, amy, i thought you did great last night, although i have one big bone to pick with you, and that is when you keep saying over and over again that you raised the most money from your ex-boyfriends in your senate run in 2006. you know i think i raised more money from my ex-boyfriends than you did. so moving past that -- >> okay, but to really do that
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it would require us to list them which we don't want to do right now on tv. >> correct. i want to talk about the fact we talk about women's reproductive freedom last night. why don't you talk about why you think it is important that the democrats begin to focus on codifying roe v. wade? what is going on around this country? why is it something that deserves this kind of time in our debate? >> this is a core issue for women of this country. it was pointed out last night men as well. we have a president that basically predicted he was going to do this. actually, on msnbc in an interview during the presidential campaign with chris matthews, he implied that he thought women should go to jail. then they had to dial it back and his people said, no, he meant doctors should go to jail for performing abortions. guess what, this is what these laws say. we have alabama now, 99 years, attaches a penalty. i think it is a little hard to
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talk on the debate stage about this only because there's a lot of agreement, but we must keep focusing on it because it is going to be a big issue against donald trump. he is so far out there when it comes to the people of this country when over 70% want to codify roe v. wade and over 90% believe that women should have access to contraception. meanwhile, he is off to defunding planned patient hood. >> david ignatius. >> senator, the reviews in "the washington post" and other places are that you had a good night last night. i want to ask you the obvious question. how do you move forward in your campaign and convince more people that you are a person that can beat donald trump? >> you and i have talked about this, david, the importance of the heartland. i am the one that hasn't just talked the talk. i was listening to mayor pete, who i have a lot of respect for and made very clear that i think that he is qualified to run for president, but he said earlier
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the best way you can show you can win an election is to win an election. i am the one that has brought in not just fired up blue clikts and o districts and getting the highest turnout time and time again, but also suburban and rural voters. democrats want to win. the message out of kentucky and virginia is there's a lot of people that want to win with us and we better not screw this up. that's my message out there. we have, in fact, doubled our iowa office, doubled our staff, opening new offices in new hampshire and in south carolina and nevada. so i am on the up, and i got a chance last night to make that argument, about the difference between me and the mayor who i have so much respect for, but also -- >> right. >> -- and i wish we could do more of this and will in los angeles, the clear difference between me and senator sanders
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and warren. i just don't think -- >> jonathan lemire. >> i want to follow up on the line with mayor buttigieg and the idea that you said women are held to a difficult and higher standard. in a powerful woman last night you said we could list our favorite female presidents and of course there have not been any. i want to ask you broadly about that idea. how could that hurt you in the general election? how could the idea that you said women being held to a higher standard hurt you and the women contenders when we move to the final field next year? >> this is on us. the fact we have so many women on the stage is going to change the world, i believe that. when you look at the past every single time there's been problems for women and voters thinking that they can actually do their job. i remember barbara mccollsky used to say, you want to know what a senator looks like, you're looking at it. one of the points i wanted to
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make last night is not, oh, vote for me because i'm a woman. i never made that arkment in one race that i have run. i have run on my merit. i want to step back and say, you know what, maybe it is not going to be the loudest voice in the road, maybe it is not going to be the tallest person or the skinniest person. maybe we need to think of what a president should be, and that is someone who is competent, who gets things done, who tells the truth, someone who governs with not just their head but their heart. mostly right now this year someone that cannot just win by a victory at 4:00 in the morning but can win big and bring the senate seats with us. >> senator amy klobuchar, thank you for okay. great to have you. >> okay. thank you, mika. >> thank you. a quick final break of the morning. we are moments away from what is expected to be another dramatic impeachment hearing. one thing we will be watching is how republicans will respond when fiona hill accuses some of them of echoing russian
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happy veterans day. happy veterans day. please visit studentveterans.org it would be the equivalent of people pulling guns, robbing a bank and 35 police officers storming in and chief wigham going -- >> take him aways, guys. >> what did you say, chief? >> you're busted, boys. >> sondland -- >> i didn't realize that aid was tied, the burisma in 2016 piece was much earlier. >> oh, just burisma, i didn't know that it was -- burisma -- i didn't know anything about that. >> you just gave me a report about it i think a whistle-blower complaint, none of which i have seen.
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>> so you just gave me a report about something. >> it doesn't even make sense. >> that you -- haven't seen. tom nichols, a report that he was on the telephone call. >> you were on the call, dude. >> jim jordan would say -- >> they got the call july 25th. they got the meeting not in the white house but in new york on september 25th. they got the money on september 11th. when did the meeting happen again? >> it never did. >> excuse me. what are you doing -- what did you do? did you spend it on a boat? excuse me. sondland goes, what? >> you made him southern. >> no, no, it was good. i liked it. keep going. >> he rolled up his sleeve. tell me about the meeting. but you get the idea. >> my gosh, that was good. >> the idea -- >> nice work, guys. >> i had to give you a few notes on your performance. >> i know. i'm very exhausted looking at it. >> we get the point. >> they're watching it for three
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hours. my god. >> it is a long show. >> seriously, it was the stupid my yesterday of the republicans saying, oh, well, no crime was committed because he got caught. there was no meeting, no -- you know, the weapons were released. every single -- it was just -- it was a message for the ignorant who obviously didn't know the facts of this case. >> yeah. i mean if you believe that the message donald trump wrote down on a piece of paper in magic marker yesterday and waved before the press and recited where he said, i want nothing, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo, if you believe it gets him off the hook you have to ignore the fact that the ig report came to the house intel committee that same day so he was scrambling to cover, and you have to ignore the months of interviews and phone calls and meetings that took place that we know about that took place before that. let's bring in former acting u.s. solicitor general, now an msnbc legal contributor, kneel
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catiel, and mimi rocha, with pace school of law. msnbc chief legal correspondent host of the beat. c chief legal host of the beat presidency at the vanderbilt dav david ignatius, let's start the stage for what we're about to see in nine or ten minutes from now. dr. fiona hill will be sitting down. what should we expect from her and knowing she had a front row seatt to what john bolton call the drug deal meetings in the white house. >> fiona hill will introduce herself as a russia expert with
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decades of experience. she grew up in britain. she is a strong, compelling witness. she will make an explosive presentation i think saying the theory that devin nunes, what they have been making, the real architects of interference in the 2016 election were not russians and they were ukrainians, she will say that is a fictional creation of the russian intelligence informs. in other words that nunes and company have fallen for a russian ploy if is very damaging and we'll have a very lively debate as she discusses that with republicans.
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>> made more damaging that every intell chief agrees with fiona hill. i have been around capitol hill and washington for awhile now. i have been around to see how badly chairman and chair women here on oning these hearings. i'm really shocked day after day there are these rolling revelations, the narrative arch has been breathtaking. >> i completely agree. first, i'm afraid you're going to imitate me, but it is streamlined, fast, and so much information is getting out. to think this didn't exist two months ago. and now we have witness after witness. but i would push back a little on the republican side. the arguments for the republicans house intelligence
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committee. these are not lawyers, these are elected representatives and they're seeing nonsense in a collapse -- >> there is only one argument they could make, which is he did it it is not impeachable and anyone with half a brain knew that from the beginning. we are learning every day what we knew when we read the n non-transcript a month and a half ago. they said it is perfect and beautiful, it is obviously not, sondland testifies yesterday it was a quid pro quo and the president says oh, he cleared me. what is it going to take to get the republicans to at least kept the facts that are in front of
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us. and if they don't, and if others don't come forward, if the secretary of state does not come forward, no one has been able to answer what happens if the white house just says no and republicans just say no, we don't see it. what happens. >> let's be clear if this were a jury trial, i know it's not, but i want to use the analogy for just a second. juries listen to evidence, they listen to evidence, a jury would come back with a guilty verdict on this case in an hour. the common sense facts are staring us in the face. i don't know if they will ever -- they don't that want. and what we're unleashing here by doing that, they have to look at what that means. what they're unleashing here by doing that is a president that
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can withhold congressionally approved aid for any made up reason. that is why fiona hill is so important. saying this is corruption, fighting corruption, it is not just words. in reality he is buying into a russian propaganda talking point. it's not just the republicans coming up with russian propaganda talkingus points. >> i see that, you see that, ari probably sees that but what gets the republicans to see the same thing. >> nothing. and i would disagree, this is for americans to see what is going on. trying to dy is predict how this will end, willy, buten we don't know. we have to actually sit back and let all of the evidence come out. and by the way, i don't think then' jury would decide quickly.
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i think it would be a direct verdict. they have provided no evidence. >> we have again in dr. fiona hill a career diplomat. like bill taylor and the other witnesses we have seen here. but she has a specific argument which is to quake into that room and tear to shreds the conspiracy theoer thitheory tha trump spoke about that it was ukraine, not russia, that interfered in the election. she says i refuse to be part of an effort to legitimate an alternate narrative. >> yeah, this comes from people who are nonpartisan long time u.s. diplomats guiding the congress to understand that if
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we're at cyber war with someone to know who is and who isn't. the other thing worth keeping in mind, that uncorked so much information this week, why are we back at watergate land. the cheeps is exposed. the plotting for the highest levels of government now exposed under oath by a person that remains employed by president trump to represent donald trump and the united states around the world. mr. sondland said quid pro quo,o a bribery plot to take out joe biden, and he still works for donald trump, the united states government, and the president. that is the ultimate endorsement of whatul he did. >> right. >> so that should really concern people, that is number one in the watergate turf, and when you
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look at all of this you have a bribery plot exposed. it was a scorching round of testimony from sondland, but what do you do about it when the cheating is exposed. >> and john meachum, they retwitted ark buckwald wrote responses for nixonites at a party, one, everybody does it, and then the press is blowing up the whole thing. the democrats are sore because they lost the election. he goes on to give about 35
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reasons 3 for backing nixon. it sounds like what donald trump saysli every day. >> and because the facts are against him he has to fight the impression that the t facts are making. john adams said that facts are stubborn things. sondland was fascinating. i think you're right about the way theu' hearings have unfolde. we should not be grading this as an exercise, but politics about the stage, and the covenant between them. the questionen to ask the republican t senators, mainly, do you want to be this -- is this, standing by this guy who hijacked your party, and turned it into a jonestown like political consult, and that is a
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excessive thing but -- >> the answer is yes. they are making that choice. you don't have a war room. you can't tell the president what he needs to do to get through this with the fewest political scars. mick

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