CNN's Newsroom 7/25/19 - President Trump Breaking News Today July 25, 2019

CNN's Newsroom 7/25/19 – President Trump Breaking News Today July 25, 2019



all right good morning everyone top of the hour I'm poppy Harlow and I'm Jim Sciuto after the hearing Democrats plotting set to unleash legal battles in the aftermath of Robert Miller's testimony at the same time the party is grappling with growing internal pressure even division over the question the crucial one of impeaching the president that's right in the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling her caucus now is still not the time to impeach and to let the investigations play out in the courts let's go to our Lauren Fox she joins us on Capitol Hill this morning look I mean Pelosi saying now is not the time still there's reporting about Nadler and her having a big riff on that you know big divide yesterday I guess the fundamental question is where does the party go from here well at this point more than 90 House Democrats support opening an impeachment inquiry but at this point after robert muller testified yesterday a lot of democrats argued there wasn't necessarily a seminal moment right there wasn't this big reveal from molars testimony that would sort of boost the conference into having to move forward with impeachment at this point there were more than 200 instances in which he deferred to answer a question or didn't answer the question at all and so I think that right now Democrats are sort of at a loss for what exactly the momentum would be but behind closed doors yesterday you're right Nancy Pelosi met with her caucus to discuss what the future looked like and she tried to get them to focus on upcoming court battles to focus on the investigations they already have into the president's tax returns obstruction of justice and the u.s. census so that's where her focus is at this point that's where she wants her caucus to be and she said look if some of you have to go home and talk about opening an impeachment inquiry if that helps you in your district you know you can be talking about that but she wants her caucus to have the strongest possible case for impeachment if that's where they're gonna go she said publicly yesterday quote the stronger our case the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook so that gives you a sense of where the speaker is at this point despite the fact that there are plenty in her caucus who want to forward with an impeachment inquiry Jim and poppy Lauren Fox on the hill thanks very much let's talk more about it with Jeffrey Toobin CNN chief legal analyst Molly ball national political correspondent for Time and Ron Brownstein senior editor at the Atlantic Jeffrey fact if I could begin with you but there's been a lot of focus on how he said it Bob Miller let's focus on what he said though and here's just some key facts from what came out of his testimony he said that Trump welcomed Russian interference and lied about it he said that generally Trump's written answers to the special counsel were untruthful he said that Trump encouraging of WikiLeaks was problematic in fact he said that that word was an understatement he said Trump was not exonerated on the question of obstruction he said that accepting foreign help is a new normal he also contradicted the president that he was seeking the job as FBI director as Trump has repeatedly and falsely accused him of can what Bob Muller said breakthrough the way in which he delivered those comments it doesn't look like it has I mean it could but it doesn't look like it has you know Muller promised going into this testimony that he was going to keep to the four corners of his report he basically kept that promise I mean virtually everything all the news in his testimony was already in the report and the report itself has generated a substantial amount of interest in impeachment on a half of Democrats but not anywhere near a majority even if members of the House I mean 93 is a lot of members it's less than half of all the Democrats so Nancy Pelosi is not fighting an uphill battle to keep impeachment out of the news she is actually with most of most of her conference in in in the House of Representatives so Molly you have the great time cover piece on this and the party in general heading toward 2020 the headline strike late for the party the Democrat debate will shape America's future and you talk about in it the insistence of Pelosi and Democratic leadership that 2020 is the best way to get the president and I have office but you've got half of Democrats Molly furious at Pelosi for not going against a president and half of them petrified and and that is quite a a stark divide so what's your reporting on where they go from here well this is the debate that the Democrats are having they're having it in the Congress and they're having it in the presidential campaign and it's a debate about policy it's a debate about tactics whether you're talking about impeachment or other types of you know electoral tactics what is the party's theory of the case for how they're going to beat Trump but at the end of the day it's about what does the party stand for and what are they going to offer to voters the voters that they are going to ask to reject Trump assuming Trump is still in office in November of 2020 voters are going to want to hear from the Democratic Party I if if not Trump then what and that's still very much an open question for the Democratic Party I the visions being offered by even the front-running candidates in the presidential field are quite different and so as you said there there is a real divide among Democrats about how to approach the impeachment question and there's a real divide about political strategy and there's a real divide about what the presidential candidate is going to take as the message to the American people well Ron Brownstein Adam Schiff no one deeper into this issue in the overall Russia investigation than Shaffir the current chairman of the House Intelligence Committee he was on our broadcast or this morning on new day have a listen to what he said I want to get your reaction 2020 is unquestionably the only way he gets removed from office so we can never lose sight of that I have tried to put the political question out of my head that is does an impeachment help us in 2020 or does it hurt his political II because I don't think it's the right question to ask but we do need to be realistic and that is the only way he's leaving office at least at this point is by being voted out so some pretty powerful voices saying listen you gotta wait till 2020 forget impeachment Nancy Pelosi Adam Schiff there who wins out I think they do look I think there was a logic error in assuming that Muller would radically change the opinion about impeachment I mean from all a radically changed the opinion about impeachment you'd have to assume that not enough people thought that Donald Trump did something worth impeaching but in fact the people the share of Americans who thought that he you know violated the law or did something wrong I was always higher than support has always been higher than support for impeachment I mean the objection of impeachment may not be about his conduct it may be rooted more and just practical concerns that it's late in his term that his Adam Schiff talks about the the Senate is not going to convict and I think there are a lot of Americans are kind of look at that and say well why go through this grueling process having said that I think Muller made a big mistake yesterday I think he had a failure of imagination he refused to accept any civic responsibility beyond his legal responsibilities no Jeffrey can talk about the mindset of a prosecutor but he did not he was the person who had the best overview of what Russia did how Trump responded and then how Trump responded in office to the enquiries and two points one and two he could have given the American people are much more comprehensible big picture of what happened he chose deliberately not to and in some ways that undermine even what he was a message he wanted to send about the threat the ongoing threat of Russia I mean he did not bring that to life for people at all you know well I just think you know Ron illustrates you know what one of the big problems with Muller's testimony which was you know he was determined not because he had to I mean I don't think he was legally compelled to say as little as he did it's part of his temperament it's part of his personality it's part of the tradition he came out of in the Justice Department that prosecutors talk in the courtroom and nowhere else that is not a legal obligation he could have within even the rules that he established talked more especially about the issues of Russian involvement in the 2016 election he chose not to him he chose simply to refer people to his report that didn't really change anything politically and I don't think it changed anything substantively if he wanted to call attention to how dramatic the threat is from foreign powers interfering in our elections he could have done that he chose not to let me ask a question without judgment if I can Jeffrey and Molly and Ron if you want to pipe in was Muller the man for the time because this is an unusual challenge this is an unusual presidency it's a challenge from Russia it's a president who has questioned that challenge in that threat and it has lied about it repeatedly and fought this in the public sphere and not based on facts in light of the point you just made that Muller had the freedom within the law to tip to paint a bigger picture here did he show that he wasn't quite the man for this you know I'm gonna say the three words that you're not allowed to say on cable news which are I don't know III don't I it's very hard to sort of put yourself in in it in the history of and and say a different person could have done it Ron Brownstein maybe knows the answer to this and volleyball look oh come on look I'll say real quick I'd say yes you know mostly no I mean he certainly in the investigation exemplary service to the country intact and untangling an incredibly complex story but I think he failed to under as I said he had a failure of imagination of his civic responsibilities in this day and age of fractionated media and polarized kind of electorate to provide a common set of facts from which all Americans could could move forward and I think it is kind of symptomatic Jim to your question of our institutions are having trouble adapting to a president who is this far outside of them I did a story this week talking to corporate leaders and and others in other institutions educational institutions of nonprofits who all said it's telling someone to go back where they came from in their own institution unquestionably willing to discipline or firing and yet almost none of them were willing to say so publicly or our leaders are failing I think the step up to upholding these kind of norms at a moment we have a president this determined to shatter wow guys thanks so much Jeffrey Toobin Molly ball Ron Brownstein big day yesterday a lot of post gaming today and looking ahead up next a democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee who questioned Muller yesterday on where that moved her plus he's out after days of massive sure poor Rico's governor is resigning amid skin and no more mr. polite guy former President Joe Biden says that he is going to get tougher at the next presidential debate are we seeing a preview with his latest from all our testimony on Capitol Hill House Judiciary chair during Adler says the committee will go to court today or tomorrow to try to get access to grand jury material they also want to judge to enforce their subpoena against former White House Counsel Don Magan of course he's the one who talked to Muller for 30 hours of interviews with me now is a lawmaker who questioned Mahler yesterday Texas a it is incredibly important to you guys he was emphatic saying we need to be able to compel Don McGann to come before this committee and answer our questions if you're successful in that what is the single most important question you have for him well first of all thank you papi for having me this morning and I agree with the Chairman we do need to hear from again and we may need to hear from little dusty from again for me it's about having the live witness obviously we've read in the report that the president called him and it asked him to fire sessions so hearing from him that it did happen hearing from him explaining why he didn't do it and why he decided to resign and the conflicts I think would be very important not only for the committee to hear but for the American people because while the report presents a lot of facts there's nothing like a live witness direct testimony bringing the words to to the American people will see and clearly that's what Democrats were banking on yesterday from Muller to really move the needle on public sentiment which is not there you don't have the majority of American people believing that impeachment proceedings could begin I'm not sure that Muller moved that needle a whole lot yesterday but let's play part of one of your exchanges as you were questioning the special counsel yesterday about what would happen if you made false statements to investigators here's that record if I had made a false statement to an investigator on your team could I go to jail for up to five years yes yes although it's Congress you elicited I think the only laughs line by the way of the day yesterday but let's combine that with what he told congresswoman Val Demmings later in the day here's that director mother isn't it fair to say that the president's written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didn't answer many of your questions but where he did his answer showed that he wasn't always being truthful there I would say generally generally so Adam Schiff the chair of the house and talk moon he just said on CNN

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