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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 23, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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initially discussing himself. trump's official call. he talks about investigating joe biden and calls ukraine to ask him about investigating joe biden and his son. tipping point. the new scandal triggers a seismic shift in the house democratic position on impeachment. now three house committees are threatening to subpoena secretary of state mike pompeo unless they get documents on the president's contacts with ukraine. u.s. soldier charge. new details of an undercover fbi
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interpretation, and a serviceman is accused of sending bond-facing man. beating trump soon? mr. trump insists south korea is set to feel spurn. we're watching the united nations where trump is scheduled to meet a counterpart this hour. i'm wolf blitzer here in the situation room. we're following breaking news this hour, including president trump's controversial phone call with ukraine's president. mr. trump is now saying it would have been okay if he pressured the ukranian leader to investigate joe biden, although he continues to deny he did. he's now openly accusing biden
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and his son of corruption of such magnitude that a republican in the same position would, in the president's words, be getting the electric chair. meanwhile, house democrats have just threatened to subpoena secretary of state mike pompeo unless he hands over documents tied to the ukraine controversy. we'll talk about the breaking news and much more with congresswoman jackie speier of the intelligence oversight and armed services committees. and our kornts and analysts are al -- correspondents and analysts are also standing by. let's go to kaitlan collins at the united nations. this ukraine talk has overshadowed the day. >> reporter: a lot of it has to do with president trump who brought it up as soon as he stepped on u.n. headquarters, going after the former vice
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president, saying he didn't pressure ukraine but saying it would have been okay if he had. >> the world stage overshadowed tonight with questions about his conduct during a phone call with a foreign leader. >> we had a perfect phone call with the president of ukraine. >> trump insists he didn't cross the line over the president of ukraine. >>, he questioned ukraine to investigate his political rival. though trumpl is formally accusing him tied to his son's job. biden says trump is abusing his power to smear him and should release the transcript. >> donald trump is doing this because he knows i'll beat him
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like a drum. >> trump's readmission has reunited democratic calls on capitol hill for his impeachment, warnings trump dismissed today. >> it's just a democratic here we go again. >> you can clear this up by releasing the whistleblower report. >> quite. >> instead he questioned the patriotism of that whistleblower, asking if the person is on our country's side. one question surrounding call s islil islily. >> dp the president thretton cut off aid. >> his attorney may not be sure, but trump insisted he didn't. >> i put no pressure on him whatsoever. i could have.
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>> they said the question could be cleared up if the white house released the transcript of the call. >> perhaps you'll see that, prams you won't see that. it depends on what we want to do. >> aides are explaining how trump can question that when he does business on hotels he still owns. >> so trump can do that while trump is president, but while the vice president was vice president, his son couldn't do business deals? >> trump planned to skip the climate summit at the united nations today. now, wolf, there is no efrd tvi that joe biden did anything
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improper here, the president hasn't provided anything to that effect, but it doesn't mean he won't keep mish r push tg as thanks to headquarters, hely. katelan collins, many. our senior con gregs achl correspondent manu raj. >> they just put out the statement to mike pompeo saying he must put out a letter to attorneys of the ukraine conversation or they'll subpoena those documents. just last week saying he did discuss the bidens with ukraine
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officials. republican senators have been w wary about criticizing this president. i spoke to chuck grassley about the concerns being raised, about the whistleblower. grassley has long advocated for whistleblower protections, and i questioned the accuracy of this whi whistleblower? it's also being said this whistleblower may have been involved in treasonous activity. >> since i know a lot of whistleblowers, i suggest the whistleblower come and talk to me. >> is that an appropriate use of office, do you think? >> would you maybe, through your news media, you can -- i think
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we'll go up here. through the news media, maybe you can get the whistleblower ploer norks r any contact with the president not call it contact in any way. one democratic senator wants a bipartisan investigation on his committee to look into the matter. >> that's why we need to see the transcripts. so before we make a full judgment, with the idea that potentially the president of the united states is trying to influence american aid contingent on trying to get dirt on a political opponent, i hope that's not true. >> warner would not say if it
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would mount to an impeachable offense, but house democrats more and more, wolf, are voicing concern or saying it's time to move forward. one democratic told me he had reached a tippy point on impeachment. the question is will the house speaker go on in that route? she's sharp in her rhetoric but still has not braced moving forward with impeachment. democratic congresswoman is here. listening to the president today, do you believe he has essentially admitted to what has been reported, that he did, in fact, put pressure on the new ukranian president to investigate his potential 2020 rival? >> i don't know that we can ever believe anything that the president says, wolf. i do think what he's technically done is declassified the kplanlt
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-- complaint by the whistleblower. if he's declassifying it, the classified version should be sent to the house and senate as required by law. it is required that the director of national intelligence shall submit a complaint to the committees. and i feel very strongly that until we see that complaint and the breadth of it, we're not in a position to make any statements. >> i know you want that whistleblower complaint, but you also want the white house to release the transcript of this phone call between the president and the ukranian leader. would you accept a partially redacted version or have the agreed-upon source review the transcript as the president suggested? >> i will not be confident anything coming from the white house that's redacted. because what we have seen over
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and over again from attorneys inside and outside the white house, they will do the president's bidding. they are not putting the law first, and this lawless presidency is becoming more and more absurd. >> well, let me just follow up. is the transcript enough, or do you actually want to hear the audio in addition to reviewing the transcript because there are some who believe the transcript could be altered, for example. >> i would be confident getting the transcript, because my sense is, knowing nothing, i might add, that the whistleblower based his interpretation on the transcripts. i could be absolutely wrong. it could be from signal intelligence, i'm not quite sure. but none of this is going to come to fruition unless we can actually see the complaint from the whistleblower. and let me be really clear. this offense is so egregious by
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bribery that if true, the president tried to get the ukranian president to do an investigation of joe biden and his son not for purposes to benefit the country, but for purposes of benefiting his reelection. it just reeks of corruption. >> earlier today the president asked why he would give money, the united states would give money to a country he believes is corrupt. are you concerned the president was dangling military assistance to influence the ukranian president? >> well, it certainly appears to be that way, but we actually give money, forms of foreign aid, to many countries who are showing themselves to be of great democracies. certainly with the election of this most recent president in ukraine, they have become more democratic in their approach. so this $250 million is a
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commonplace contribution in foreign aid to a country that is showing democratic principles. >> the chairman of your intelligence committee, congressman adam schiff, now says impeachment in his words may be the only remedy that is co-equal to president trump's conduct. you've been supportive of opening an impeachment inquiry, but do you now believe the sefd the -- evidence is there to go ahead and actually impeach? >> i want to see the complaint, i want to see the transcript. i believe that the director of national intelligence has an obligation to present that to us when he testifies on thursday. if he does not, i feel very strongly that this is a case where inherent contempt should be imposed, and we bring that resolution to the floor. it's privileged. it can come immediately to us on
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a daily basis until he turns that over. >> he testified to speak publicly on thursday. what will you do in that hearing if he still hasn't handed over to your question the whistleblower complaint. >> i will create a resolution, to come to the house for inherent contempt of the acting director mcguire. >> congresswoman jackie speier, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. ly an american soldier accused of using bomb-making material over the weekend. every day at marco's, get two medium, one-topping pizzas for just $6.99 each. hello to the italian way.
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. there's more breaking news we're following this hour. an american soldier has been charged with making bombs and he's talked about other targets. this soldier was in contact with an undercover fbi agent. what are you learning?
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>> yaureah, he was in touch wit this other agent, but also an informant, someone the fbi used on several occasions. in all those conversations, he talked about this soldier, 24-year-old jarrett smith stationed in kansas, talked about launching some kind of attack inside the united states. specifically he mentions local news stations. he also mentioned, as you said, wolf, targeting a major american news station. he wanted to target a network possibly using a car bomb to launch this attack. here's how the fbi in the complaint that they issued today that wasn't sealed by the court, here's how they describe that conversation. and what he says is major news network headquarters and the cs, that's the informant, tells him that would certainly make a
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statement, and then smith says, a large vehicle bomb. fill a vehicle of various explosive materials, then fill a ping-pong ball, drilling them, injecting them, put the ball in the tank of the vehicle skppg -- but what was very concerning here for authorities, certainly, is that he knew how to make bovbov bombs. he talked about how to make bombs on facebook. that is what alerted the fbi, and they waited. back in august is when they started working on this investigation yet again, and that's when he made these statements. now he's charged with essentially putting these postings on faes facebook. >> they didn't identify the news
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network that was supposedly targeted, right? >> no, they didn't identify that, not in the court papers. they didn't look at who he was targeting. >> he said possibly target politicians, he mentioned beto o'rourke. but other than that, there was no mention of any specific target, wolf. >> all right, thank you for that update. very disturbing developments. joining us, former fbi supervisory agent. he's the author of a brand new bo book. thanks so much for coming in. thanks for writing this book. i want to get to it in a moment. but there is a lot we don't know
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about the moelt, this person was someone who was a member of the military, someone who would be tranld in warfather f. this news media outlet may have been among his target of attack. i want to dig into some more. >> let me also get your thoughts on these latest developments on this phone call. the president has now admitted that he may have pressured president zelensky to investigate the bidens. why is that so concerning from an fbi. . here we are talking yet again
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about another foreign government perhaps interfering with thely. and the fact that his own apparently attorney would be reaching out, trying to get a forei foreign government to decide what's coming your way, especially should they decide to open an investigation. >> you just published a critically important excellent new book about what it was like inside the fbi during the russia investigation. what do you hope, josh, that read erd wiers will take away a they get through this book? >> we've heard a lot of voices throughout the clinton case, throughout the russia investigation. one specific voice, though, we haven't heard comes from the rank and file on the fbi, who has been on the seegd is critical in certain aspects of
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the fbi. not every decision they made was perfect, but i hope the agent understands this is a discussion in the middle of a political battle here in washington and a seemingly endless attack on the president of the yumpl. explain what this cause is all about. >> thanks, wolf, for letting me mention that. this book is about a controversial period of time, the last three years with the clinton case, with the trump case. one thing that is not controversial and this is one key thing i try to do with this vehicle, wolf, is use this as a vehicle for good. there is still fbi agents that are dying today from 9/11-related illnesses that are now manifesting some 18 years lafr later. in doing that, i sent a fund to get a lot of kids off to college. i hope your readers or viewers, whether they agree with the book
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or disagree with the book, they'll understand it's going to a good cause and try to shine some light on this very important charity, taking care of those surviving children who pay the ultimate sacrifice. >> so nice of you to do that. the book is entitled "crossfire hurricane: inside donald trump's war on the fbi. john champion is the -- josh campbell is the author. would president trump's ukranian call set a dangerous precedent? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis,
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breaking news this hour, president trump deflecting the call with ukraine's president and now accusing joe bid skpn his son for corruption would have a republican in the same position, according to the president, quote, getting the electric chair. chris cilliza now said the president would get the electric chair if they did what biden did. the president is accusing joe biden of being corrupt. but does he have any real proof?
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>> not currently. he has made these claims before. fact checkers say there's no "there" there. yes, vice president biden was on this committee. yes, he did say we're going to hold a billion dollars in guarantees until this prosecutor is removed, because the obama administration, as well as others in the world, believe in prosecutor wasn't taking a hard enough line on the ukrainement b -- ukraine. the case that president was on the board of already was in ukraine. that won't stop him from saying it, autos we've said before. people, unfortunately, will believe it. this is the ultimate facts he
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has created, but those aren't the same , that there was anything nefarious going on. >> gloria, you had a chance to speak to someone close to the president for your new column on cnn.com. what are you learning about the p president's outlook on this clearly developing story? >> while democrats seem to think this is close to the rubicon, we're learning that the president isn't worried about it. this source says to me he's not bothered, he's not worried, and he believes the whole system is so rigged and so thooefl none of this has any substance. he also said, and this is kind of interesting to me, that the president believes that -- he likes joe biden and this president has, quote, compassion
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forg, but the president hanlt. there are all kinds of potential legal scholars looking this over. the president is more kerngsd i was told, about how he's going to handle gun control in iran. >> jeffrey, i want you to explain how the situation evolved. >> did you discuss joe biden and his family? >> somebody ought to look into joe biden because it was disgraceful. >> the conversation i had was largely congratulatory, was lar largely corrupt with all the corruptions taking place. was due to the fact that we don't to a kun that you think
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system. one of the new reasons the president got many. it's very important that you speak to someone about corruption. very important. >> i put no pressure on them whatsoever. i could have. i think it possibly would have been okay if i did. >> what do you think, jeffrey. does it sound like the effect to benefit the bidens? >> of course. of course. the only reason the ukranian president is interested in talking to the president is because he wants this aid. and the president says, as he's acknowledging, go and investigate biden. this is an obvious quid pro quo, and it's the quid pro quo not for the benefit of the american people, not for the benefit of our national interests. it's a quid pro quo to help
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donald trump get reelected. what we're going to have to decide is whether that's acceptable behavior for a president. we can go off and talk about, you know, joe biden's son, and we can talk about all these side issues, but the real issue here is whether the president of the united states can go to a foreign leader and say, i want you to do this solely for the benefit of my campaign. that's what this is about and that's what we'll have to decide. everybody stand by. there is a lot more we need to discuss and we will right after a quick break. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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we're back with our experts and our analysts and april ryan says the president clearly waif waivers on if he would like his transcript of the call to be released. do you think we'll see the transcript of that conversation? >> who knows. this president always fights anything that gives a glimpse into anything he does. we've seen this with past presidents, any time people want to know more or release any nfl information about private conversations, every president in the past has said, it's not a good idea. it breaks down that relations p relationship. we're looking at possibly breaking the law. about issues the president could have asked for something that should not have been done by the
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president of the united states. we're also hearing that the president, his staff, rather, and the lawyers are really tense about this whole thing. as some are saying, they don't even pay attention to it, understanding that the dni, the director of national intelligence, says it's no big deal. so if the president is saying it's no big deal, that's because the dni is downplaying this. but in the meantime, everyone in that white house is an intense moment and they're wringing their hands to find out what they have to do, if they have to do anything. >> the president found time today during a very hectic day and week during the general assembly, to tweet his displeasure at the u.n. intelligence official who filed the original whistleblower complaint, writing in part, and i'm quoting the president, who is this so-called whistleblower who doesn't know the correct facts? is he on our country's side?
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i question this official who went through all the proper channels in filing this complaint. >> it's very problematic. this is a ramping up of his rhetoric from when it broke his famous line that it was a party hack who did it, and he said, i actually know who did it. now we know it's someone disloyal to our country. that loyalty is to the country, ton any person or particular office. he understands it's loyalty to him personally. that's how he always has done things. remember when jeff sessions recused himself in the mueller probe, he said, how could you do this to me? how could you do this to me? it's not skbref sgszs.
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everything if you're doing something that makes donald trump's life more difficult, but he just means, many sto-- >> he wants the white house to subpoena these documents. do you think he's going to get them? >> no. they produce nothing. there is now a series of court cases, whether it's about the president's tax returns or about the testimony of secretary of commerce, the attorney general barr's testimony. they have decided that stonewalling is the way to react to congressional oversight, and unless the courts intervene, and the courts move very slowly, that's clearly what's going to happen. we are now almost into october, and democrats have accomplished basically nothing in terms of
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their oversight of the administration because of this stonewall, so it's been working, and i don't see any reason why that will change. >> yet the movement, gloria, towards impeachment in the house of representatives is clearly gaining some steam as a result of the ukraine controversy. >> yeah, it really is. nancy pelosi wrote a very strong letter over the weekend, and it's clear that, you know, she said we're entering this grave new world, basically, with this, and so i believe that you'll see more and more democrats coming out and saying we should impeach. the thing that nancy pelosi is really worried about is those 40 or so democrats who won in republican districts who are moderate, have been against impeachment this could push them over that line. i think they need to get more
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informati information. and to jeffrey's point, the courts are moving slowly. nancy pelosi always said we'll fight it out in court. but if the courts are moving slowly, what can congress do? they look helpless here, and they have to be able to act in some way, shape or form, and maybe taking that vote is one way to do it. >> there is one possibility, and that is that the whistleblower will decide to go outside the system and go to -- and deliver his information to congress directly. that is still a possibility. >> all right, guys. stick around. there is more news we're following, including possible fallout from the trump-kim courtship. is south korea feeling snubbed? it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft for the win win. they give us excellent customer otservice, every time.e. our 18 year old was in an accident.
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there's more breaking news. president trump meeting this hour with south korean president moon at the united nations discussing north korea. this comes as some south korean officials are said to be feeling slighted by mr. trump and kim jong-un's overtures to resume talks. brian todd is working the story for us. the south koreans appear to be feeling sort of left out of the process.
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>> reporter: some top officials feel they're being frozen out and in trying to help president trump broker his deal south korea is being prevented from building stronger ties with pyongyang. >> mr. president -- >> reporter: tonight donald trump is still on a mission to get a critical mission with kim jong-un. >> i have a good relationship with kim jong-un. >> reporter: but the president's comments at the u.n. today come as one of trump's key allies in the process is reportedly feeling snubbed and left out. despite the smiles and handshakes at the u.n. between trump and one of his wing men, south korean president, aides to president moon reportedly feel south korea has been marginalized. one top south korean official telling the news website it, quote, bothers him south korea is not at the negotiating table. another top moon adviser tosaidt has been harmful to build better ties.
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a state department spokesman tells cnn there's complete agreement between the u.s. and south korea and a common approach to denuclearization. a veteran diplomat who has had discussions with an official tells cnn tonight there is something to the report. >> in certain circles particularly inside the blue house in seoul, there are some people who are not pleased with the overall status of north/south dialogue. and some of those people, including people who are very close to president moon, have, in the last two or three weeks said some things on the record of a sense of exasperation and even anger. >> reporter: one indication president trump may have been willing to leave moon behind is trump's nonchallance of nuclear tests. >> he has been doing short-range missiles, but so does every
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other country do short-range missiles. they're pretty standard fare. >> reporter: officials recently told cnn trump himself has soured on moon believing moon hasn't done enough to rein in the north korean missile launches. for its part north korea has been trying to drive a wedge and tried to marginalize south korea. >> the north koreans under kim jong-un will do what they did under his father and grandfather which is to put the south koreans in a place where they're isolated and look like they're not the legitimate government and portray north korea as an equal to the united states, china, russia. >> reporter: analysts say another big obstacle in the entire process is kim jong-un's own view of unification. they say that just like the south, north korea wants the two countries to come together as one, but kim wants to do that under the communist rule, something they will never agree to. wolf? breaking news next.
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president trump turns the table and accuses joe biden of corruption saying, and i'm quoting now, if a republican did what biden did, they would be getting the electric chair. do you have concerns about mild memory loss related to aging? prevagen is the number one pharmacist-recommended
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happening now, breaking news. trump's admission. the president at the center of a growing scandal after confirming he did talk to ukraine's leader about joe biden. mr. trump now suggesting there would be nothing wrong with pushing a foreign leader to investigate his potential 2020 opponent. subpoena warning, three house committees are now threatening legal action to learn more about the ukraine call. this as democrats are said to be nearing the brink of formally launching impeachment proceedings. u.s. car bomb threat -- a u.s. army soldier is now in custody tonight accused of offering bomb making lessons over the internet. the feds revealing very disturbing details of potential targets including a major news network. and warren's big move -- the senator is surging in iowa. according to an exclusive new cnn democratic poll, as elizabeth warren makes gains ag

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